Kidambi Srikanth slumped to his second consecutive defeat after losing to Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen in straight games, crashing out of the Dubai Super Series Final on Thursday. Even though Srikanth still has a match left in Group B, he virtually has no chance of making the next stage. Srikanth, who suffered a defeat to World No 1 and defending champion Viktor Axelsen in his opening match yesterday, failed to improve his game and went down 21-18 21-18 in the USD 1 million event.
World No 7 Taiwan took 43 minutes to stun the fourth-ranked Indian in a Group B men's singles match.
Srikanth will face All England Open finalist Shi Yuqi of China tomorrow in his last and final match of Group B.
Shi Yuqi, who had defeated Chou in his opening match yesterday, eked out a 13-21 21-18 21-17 win over World No. 1 and defending champion Viktor Axelsen today to top Group B.
The in-form Shi Yuqi will be hoping to beat Srikanth also tomorrow, but even if the Indian manage to get the better of the World No. 8 Chinese in straight games, it would not be possible for him to make the cut.
Whoever between Axelsen and Chou wins on Friday, will advance to the knockouts as the second player from Group B after Shi Yuqi.
Srikanth today failed to bring out his top game again as he lagged behind from the very beginning.
Having conceded a 0-5 lead in the opener, Srikanth was always playing the catch-up game and eventually lost the first game 18-21.
Although he put up a better performance in the second game, Srikanth could not sustain the momentum till the end.
Despite leading 17-14 at one stage, Srikanth let his Taiwanese opponent gain three straight points to catch him at 17-17.
At 18-18, the Taiwan player reeled off three crucial points to wrap up the match in style.
(With PTI Inputs)