Kidambi Srikanth lost to Jonatan Christie in the quarterfinal of the Indonesia Masters badminton tournament. (Image credit: Twitter)
Kidambi Srikanth’s journey in the Indonesia Masters Badminton ended on a heartbreaking note as he suffered a 18-21,19-21 loss to local favourite Jonatan Christie in the quarterfinal on Thursday. With this loss, India’s presence in the male section of the tournament has ended. However, there was better news in the women’s section as Saina Nehwal entered the semi-final with a win over Pornpawee Chochuwong in a match that lasted just 33 minutes. Saina, seeded eighth in the tournament, needed just 33 minutes to tame her opponent 21-7 21-18 in the women's singles quarterfinal match. In the semifinals, the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist will face the winner of the quarterfinal match between Chen Xiaoxin and He Bingjiao, both of China. Later in the day, PV Sindhu will square off against Carolina Marin in what promises to be a blockbuster encounter.
Both Srikanth and Christie started off on a confident note as they were level at 4-4. However, Christie won five consecutive points to race away to a 9-4 lead as Srikanth made some unforced errors. However, Srikanth bounced back in style, winning four consecutive points and at 15-15, it was anybody’s game. Srikanth turned the game around and took an 18-16 lead and looked good to close the game out. However, Christie capitalised on some sluggish play from the Indian shuttler and again won five consecutive points to secure the game 21-18.
In the second game, Christie started off in fine fashion as he won six consecutive points to build the momentum of winning the first game. Srikanth tried to fight back but Christie ensured there was a four-point gap. With the game slipping away, the Indian shuttler decided to raise his level. Srikanth won four consecutive points and at 14-14, the Indian had a realistic chance to claw back into the contest. Both players kept up the momentum and at 19-19, a single error could have proven to be costly.
However, Christie held his nerve and served out the match in style as he won the game 21-19 to break Indian hearts. Although the men’s challenge has ended, the women’s section has kept the flame burning and with Saina already in the semi-final, the onus will be on Sindhu to ensure she gets the better of Marin, who had defeated her in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics.