Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth on Wednesday battled past Spain’s Pablo Abian in a pulsating second-round contest to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the ongoing BWF World Championships in Nanjing, China. Also Read - All England Open 2020: PV Sindhu Beats Beiwen Zhang to Advance Into Second Round, Kidambi Srikanth Knocked Out
Srikanth, ranked number sixth, overcame the challenge from his 48th ranked opponent 21-15, 21- 12 and 21-14 in a match which saw fortunes swing for both the sides for full 62 minutes. Also Read - PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth Lead India's Campaign at All England Championships
The fifth-seeded Indian won the first game 21-15 rather comfortably against Abian in just 18 minutes. However, Abian made a strong comeback in the second game despite conceding an early lead and at the mid-game break took a four-point lead at 11-7. From thereon, he came with some impressive shots and went on to the win the game 21-12 in 19 minutes to take the match into the decider.
In the deciding game, the match was evenly poised at the one stage with the scores at 6-6. However, Srikanth switched gears and won a few consecutive points to have a two-point lead at the mid-game break. From thereon, the Indian sailed and kept on putting pressure on his opponent. Two of the challenges in the final round went in Kidambi’s favour, after the break, that helped the Indian close in the lead.
Abian tried his best to stop the higher ranked Indian but was unable to do so in the final few rallies as Srikanth displayed an array of smashes to seal the deal and won the game 21-14.
The Indian will now face Malaysia’s Liew Daren on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals. Daren defeated Israel’s Misha Zilberman 21-16, 21-16 to make it to the third round.