India’s Kidambi Srikanth was eliminated in the semi-finals of the men’s singles at the Hylo Open 2021 in Saarbrucken, Germany on Saturday.
Former world No. 1 Srikanth lost 21-19, 22-20 to Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia. The Malaysian shuttler is seeded second and is the reigning All England Open champion.
In the first game, Kidambi Srikanth played good rallies but was inconsistent with his attacks and trailed 11-9 at the mid-game break.
The Indian badminton player continued to engage in some good strokeplay. However, Srikanth was unable to get the upper hand, struggling to finish off points when in a position of strength and conceded the first game.
Kidambi Srikanth attacked better in the second game, going cross-court with his shots and forcing Lee Zii Jia into errors to carry an 11-9 lead into the break.
A sustained attacking plan helped the Indian shuttler to a 15-10 lead but Lee Zii Jia then won five points in a row after saving a smash to draw level.
A leaping cross-court smash helped the Malaysian into the lead and he did not let up thereafter. Though Kidambi Srikanth launched a late comeback, Lee Zii Jia held his nerve to make the final.
Meanwhile, the promising Lakshya Sen, ranked world No. 22, lost 21-18, 21-12 to Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew, ranked 18 places below him.
The two losses brought an end to India’s campaign at the Hylo Open 2021.
Lee Zii Jia will take on Loh Kean Yew for the men’s singles title on Sunday.