Jakarta: India’s Kidambi Srikanth fought hard before losing to China’s Li Shi Feng in a tough three-game men’s singles quarterfinal of the Indonesia Open World Tour Super 1000 event, here Friday.
Srikanth lost 14-21 21-14 12-21 in one hour and nine minutes against world No.10 Feng to exit from the competition.
The win enabled Feng to restore parity on head-to-head record against Srikanth, which stands at 1-1 now.
In the battle between Srikanth and Feng, both of whom were unseeded here, the Chinese came out on top in the first game despite getting off the blocks slowly.
It was world No.22 Srikanth, who opened up an early 2-0 lead before Feng bounced back with five straight points with Indian guilty of committing too many unforced errors.
The initial lead was what 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 rode on his aggressive play near the net to take points and eventually close 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 five point lead at the mid-game interval, when the Chinese received medical attention for his heavily strapped left foot.
But the injury hardly had any effect on the Chinese shuttler’s game as Srikanth failed to close in the gap in the third game.