Shuttler Srikanth loses to Axelsen in Superseries Finals

Dubai, Dec 10 (IANS) Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth lost his second successive game of the BWF Superseries Finals as he was beaten by Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 13-21, 18-21 in a Group B clash which lasted for 37 minutes at the Hamdan Sports Complex here on Thursday.

In the opener, Srikanth matched stroke to stroke against Axelsen, who led from the start but the Indian crawled back into the contest first getting to 8-10 and then managing to draw level.

However, world No.6 Axelsen just exploded into life after 10-10 and brought things under his control, he made Srikanth work hard and surged ahead to 17-11. World No.8 Srikanth managed to get two more points but the 21-year-old Dane easily sealed it off.

In the second game, the Dane raced ahead again and Srikanth had to play catch up. Like in the first, Axelsen once again did not fall behind Srikanth and at one point led 16-7. The Indian tried to pull back things and succeeded by making his rival wait at 19 points as he collected a few, trying to battle his way into the tie.

But Axelsen proved to be too strong and grabbed the set and with it the game. It was the 21-year-old’s second win in the season-ending tournament.

After the loss, Srikanth’s progress to the semi-finals looks grim as Axelsen has almost sealed a place with two wins. The Indian will face world No.7 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in the final group match on Friday.

World No.5 Kento Momota of Japan, who beat Srikanth on Wednesday, can also make his place firm with a victory over Tien Chen later on Thursday. If that happens, Srikanth and Tien Chen will have to go home.

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