Kidambi Srikanth on Friday progressed to the semifinals of the men’s single event at Hong Kong Open after China’s Chen Long, seeded fifth, chose to quit during the quarterfinal clash, owing to an injury.
Srikanth, ranked 13th in the world but unseeded in the tournament, had won the first game before his opponent decided to concede the match. This meant that the Indian sealed his place in the semifinals.
Srikanth, who had beaten compatriot Sourabh Varma on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals, had pocked the first game 21-13 merely in 15 minutes at the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 500 event before Long decided to quit.
This was Srikanth’s second win over Long in the eight matches he played against the Chinese shuttler. Earlier this year when the two squared off in the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open in April, Long had outplayed Srikanth, winning the match in straight games.
Srikanth’s first win over Long had come in 2017 when he beat the Chinese shuttler 22-20, 21-16 to win the Australian Open title.
With the likes of Verma, HS Prannoy, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu already out of the tournament, Srikanth remains the only Indian who can still win the title.
He will face the winner of the quarterfinal clash between Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong and seventh-seeded Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the semis.