Indian challenge at the BWF World Tour Super 500 event came to an end on Saturday as both Lakshya Sen and Srikanth Kidambi lost their respective semifinal matches.
Both the Indians who had a not-so-interesting European leg had a terrific run at the HYLO Open. Not dropping more than two games in the four matches they played.
Lakshya Sen played the first of the two semifinal matches against Singapore's Loh Kean Yew. Lakshya, a former champion in Saarbrucken, matched Loh’s fast-paced game but lacked finishing quality.
Loh who is playing some exceptional badminton at the Hylo Open has beaten the top seed Chou Tien Chen and the fifth seed Rasmus Gemke in the open round and in the quarterfinals was high on confidence going into the semifinals. In the last month, Loh and Lakshya have played each other twice, first at the Dutch Open where the Singaporean was victorious and next at the French Open which saw the Indian avenging his loss.
In the semifinals, Lakshya in the first game tried to keep up with Loh’s game but lost 18-21. The second game was a different affair as Loh pulled off a better strategy and closed the match 12-21.
The second of the men’s semifinals was between Srikanth Kidambi and Lee Zii Jia. The Indian who was coming off from two hour-long matches in the round of sixteen and round of eight was not as effective as he generally is.
Both the athletes who had never faced each other previously matched toe-to-toe in the opening game. Srikanth stumbled at 19 all and Lee edged out and took the game 19-21.
In the second, the Malaysian took a 4-0 lead but the Indian moved quickly to take a 15-10 lead but the second seed came back and took the game and the match 20-22.
Though the Indians have lost the tournament, we have seen some really good badminton in the past week and we are excited that our stars are back right before the World Tour Finals.