Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth suffered a major blow as he knocked out of the USD 750,000 Malaysia Open after going down against fourth-seeded Chen Long of China in straight games in the quarter-final of the tournament in Kaula Lumpur on Friday.
The 26-year-old Indian failed to replicate his good performances in the tournament so far and slumped to an 18-21, 19-21 defeat at the hands of Long in a thrilling last-eight clash of the men's singles event that lasted 48 minutes.
In the opening game, Srikanth was comfortably leading till 16-11 before his Chinese opponent made a strong comeback and equaled the score at 17-17 to eventually seal the game.
The Indian shuttler produced a much-spirited performance in the second game as he fought back from 7-11 down to level the scores at 19-19 before ending up giving the victory to Long.
With Srikanth's exit, India's challenge at the Malaysia Open has also folded.
Last week, world number seven Srikanth made it to his first finals of a BWF World Tour event in 17 months when he stormed into the summit showdown of the India Open with 14-21, 21-16, 21-19 triumph over China's Huang Yuxiang.