The 28-year-old gave his absolute best before going down fighting to Japan's Kento Momota 18-21, 22-20, 19-21 in 79 minutes.
Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth suffered a heartbreaking defeat to world No 1 Kento Momota in the second round of the French Open Super 750 Badminton tournament in Paris on Wednesday. The 28-year-old gave his absolute best before going down fighting to the Japanese 18-21, 22-20, 19-21. Meanwhile India’s mixed doubles team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponappa advanced in the tournament. The Indian pair defeated Denmark’s Mathias Thyrri and Mai Surrow 21-19, 21-15, here at Court 1.
Srikanth played his heart out to match the two time world champion and also held a two-point lead towards the end of the decider but ended up losing the match at the end of a gruelling 79 minutes. The Rio Olympics quarterfinalist had lost to Momota last week in the Denmark open as well but he produced a much improvised performance this time around and came agonisingly close to outwitting the world No 1 only to fall short in the end.
Srikanth raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening set before Momota clawed his way back to level the score. The Indian again moved to a 8-5 advantage but the Japanese once again came from behind to take a slender 11-10 lead at the break.
After the break, Momota held on to the lead despite Srikanth leveling the score at 18-18 at one stage. The second game was a tighter contest as the lead exchanged hands many times before Momota managed to take a 11-9 advantage at the break.
The Japanese held two game points but Srikanth staged a brilliant fight back and reeled off four straight points to take the second set and take the game to the decider. The decider was no different as both shuttlers played with the same level of intensity and fighting spirit. Although Srikanth held a 9-6 advantage, Momota made it 11-10 at the break. The Indian moved to a 19-17 lead but a couple of errors cost him the match. It was kind of so close yet so far for Srikanth