Hong Kong: Young Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth continued his rampaging run in Kowloon and set up a semifinal clash with top seed Chinese Chen Long even as Saina Nehwal suffered a stunning loss in the women's singles quarterfinals at the Hong Kong Super Series, here on Friday.
After India's campaign in the women's singles came to an end following Saina's shocking loss to Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals, Srikanth brought back cheers to the home camp with a 21-14-21-15 win over Hong Kong's Wei Nan in the men's singles event.
Newly-crowned China Open champion, Saina, seeded third, went down 15-21 19-21 to World No. 9 Ying in just 39 minutes. However, Srikanth, who had become the first Indian to win a Super Series Premier event at Fuzhou last week, had no difficulty in seeing off World No. 21 Wei in a 36-minute quarterfinal match.
Srikanth held a 10-6 lead early in the opening game but Wei caught up with him with a four-point burst. However, all credit to the Indian that he didn't allow his rival to come near him after that and closed the game in her favour.
In the second game too, Srikanth surged ahead at 8-3 and held his fort as Wei crumbled. In the women's singles quarterfinals, Saina, who held a 5-2 edge over Ying ahead of the match, could not find a way thorough her Taipei rival's compact game.
Last time the two met, the Indian had defeated Ying in the semifinals of Swiss Open in 2013 but the World No. 4 Saina looked pretty rusty today. The girl from Hyderabad was a pale shadow of herself in the opening game before she fought back in the second, but failed to make it to the next round.
Breaking away from a 2-2 tie in the first game, there was no looking back for the Taipei girl. She just kept on extending the lead, even as Saina played the catch-up game. Although Saina tried her best, she always trailed behind Ying, seeded sixth. By the end of the opening round, the Taipei girl had surged ahead wrapping it up 21-15.
The Olympic bronze medallist, however, pulled up her socks in the second game and came up with a much-improved show. It turned out to be a closely fought affair as the game tilted from one end to another and the two shuttlers were tied at 19-19. But the World No. 9 Ying came up with two consecutive winners just when it mattered most to seal the issue in her favour, thereby making it to the semifinals.