India's Kidambi Srikanth defeated his young compatriot Lakshya Sen 17-21, 21-14, 21-17 to reach the final of the World championship in Huelva, Spain.
Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth staged a remarkable comeback to defeat young compatriot Lakshya Sen and enter the final of the BWF World championships in Huelva, Spain on Saturday. The 28-year-old etched a new chapter in the history of Indian Badminton as he became the first Indian shuttler to reach the World championship final. Prakash Padukone in 1983 and Sai Praneeth in 2019 had lost in the semifinals of the Worlds. Srikanth saw off Sen 17-21, 21-14, 21-17 in a thrilling contest that lasted an hour and nine minutes.
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The former world No. 1 now has the chance of winning the top prize while Sen signed off with a maiden bronze. India’s PV sindhi has won five World Championship medals- two silvers, two bronze and a gold in 2019. Meanwhile the women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa had also won a bronze in 2011. Saina Nehwal has a silver and bronze to her name in the marquee event.
It was a tough win for Srikanth as the 20-year-old Sen matched the former world No. 1 toe-to-toe with his speed and aggressive game. It was a tight affair in the opening game and Lakhsya gained an upper hand and went into the mid-game-break with an 11-8 lead. After the restart, Sen raced to 15-11, but Srikanth came back with three smashes to level it 16-16. However, at 17-17 Srikanth lost back-to-back points and Sen pocketed the first game.
Sen started the second game on a strong note, taking an early lead of 8-4. At this stage, Srikanth shifted his gears, playing smashes with ease and moving the youngster all over the court. Srikanth won seven of the last eight points to lead 11-9 at break. Srikanth continued his dominance after the break and won the second game with ease.
In the decider, Sen had the upper hand going into the break. It was a neck-and-neck affair as a 50-shot rally was needed to fetch the fourth point for Srikanth. Towards the end, Srikanth showed his experience and maintained his composure while Sen committed errors. Srikanth sealed the match with a body return which Lakshya sent to the net.
In the final, Srikanth will face Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew, who defeated Denmark’s Anders Antonsen 23-21, 21-14 in the other semifinal.
Kidambi Srikanth beat Lakshya Sen: 17-21, 21-14, 21-17
Loh Kean Yew beat Anders Antonsen: 23-21, 21-14
Kidambi Srikanth VS Loh Kean Yew
Tai Tzu Ying beat He Bing Jiao: 21-17, 13-21, 21-14
Akane Yamaguchi beat Zhang Yi Man 21-19, 21-19
Tai Tzu Ying VS Akane Yamaguchi
Takuro Hoki/ Yugo Kobayashi beat Keiichiro Matsui/ Yoshinori Takeuchi: 21-18, 21-12
He Ji Ting/ Tan Qiang beat Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen: 21-16, 13-21, 21-15
Takuro Hoki/ Yugo Kobayashi VS He Ji Ting/ Tan Qiang
Chen Qing/ Jia Ti Fan beat Mayu Matsumoto/ Wakana Nagahara: 21-15, 21-12
Lee Sohee/ Shin Seungchan beat Kim Soyeong/ Kong Heeyong: 21-18, 21-17
Chen Qing/ Jia Ti Fan VS Lee Sohee/ Shin Seungchan
Yuta Watanabe/ Arisa Higashino beat Kyohei Yamashita/ Naru Shinoya: 21-13, 21-8
Dechapol Puavaranukroh/ Sapsiree Taerattanachai beat Tang Chun Man/ Tse Ying Suet: 15-21, 21-17, 21-10
Yuta Watanabe/ Arisa Higashino VS Dechapol Puavaranukroh/ Sapsiree Taerattanachai
The matches would be streamed live on BWF’s Youtube channel. The matches will start from 9 AM Madrid Time, which is 1:30 PM IST.
Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD and star Sports 3 TV stations in India, as well as Disney+ Hotstar, will broadcast the BWF World Championship 2021 Live.