Satwik-Chirag in semifinals, Srikanth bows out

Jakarta: ┬áIndia’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stunned top seed Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in straight games to sail into the men’s doubles semifinals of the Indonesia Open World Tour Super 1000 event here on Friday.

However, world championship silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the men’s singles competition after going down fighting to China’s Li Shi Feng in the quarterfinals.

The first Indian to take the court, Srikanth lost 14-21 21-14 12-21 in one hour and nine minutes against world No. 10 Feng.

The win enabled Feng to restore parity on head-to-head record against Srikanth, which stands at 1-1 now.

The seventh seeded duo of Satwik and Chirag then displayed a flawless game to outwit Indonesia’s Alfian and Adrianto 21-13 21-13 in 41 minutes.

Satwik and Chirag will play the winner of the quarterfinal between Koreans Min Hyuk Kang and Seung Jae Seo and Indonesia’s Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin.

In the battle between Srikanth and Feng, the Chinese came out on top in the first game despite taking more time to get off the blocks.

It was world No. 22 Srikanth, who opened up an early 2-0 lead before Feng bounced back with five straight points, with the Indian guilty of committing too many unforced errors.

The initial lead was all Srikanth could manage as his Chinese opponent upped his game as the match progressed to take a 11-7 lead at the game break.

Feng’s court coverage and anticipation was way better that his opponent, who made a number of mistakes near the net.

Barring a few glimpses of his old self, Srikanth looked completely off colour as Feng continued to increase his lead, executing drop shots with precision and body smashes to easily pocket the first game.

After a close contest initially in the second game, it was Srikanth who bounced back in style with perfect smashes and wore out his Chinese opponent by playing from front to back of the court to take a 11-6 lead.

Srikanth relied on his aggressive play near the net to take points and eventually closed out the second game in his favour to level the scores.

But Srikanth failed to continue in the same vein in the decider as Feng raced to a five- point lead at the mid-game interval, when the Chinese received medical attention on his heavily strapped left foot.

The injury hardly had any effect on the Chinese shuttler’s game as Srikanth failed to close in the gap in the third game.