India's Kidambi Srikanth created history on Saturday by becoming the first Indian shuttler to enter the final in the men’s singles category of the BWF World Championships in Huelva.
In an all-Indian battle, former world number one Srikanth rallied to defeat Lakshya Sen by 17-21, 21-14, 21-17 in a thriller that lasted for one hour and nine minutes.
Sen will now clash in the gold medal match against the winner of the second semi-final which is to be played between Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew.
The 20-year-old Indian who was chasing the game at the start entered the first game interval with an 11-8 lead. But Kidambi soon showed his experience and leveled the game at 17-17 after the resumption.
However, Sen didn’t lose his composure and forced the 12th-seeded Indian to do errors under pressure with some deft touches. He took four straight points to wrap up the first game.
Simmering backhands and brilliant net play were on display at the starting of the second game as world-number-19 raced to an 8-4 lead. But his senior compatriot fought back strongly and took the two-point lead at the mid-game break.
With momentum on his side, the 28-year-old Indian widened the gap with a 16-12 lead. Sen tried to claw back in the game but Srikanth held his nerves to force the decider.
The third game went back and forth as both shuttlers found themselves level at 7-7. But it was the unseeded Indian who took the three points advantage in the mid-game interval of the deciding game. After the change of ends, Srikanth clawed his way back into the game by leveling the score at 13-13 and soon took the lead at 19-16. The former World number one then held his nerves to seal the spot in the summit clash.
On Friday, for a place in the last-4, Lakshya Sen defeated Zhao Jun Peng in a thriller. Battling at court 2, the Indian went past the Chinese shuttler by 21-15, 15-21, 22-20 in a titanic one hour and seven minutes clash.
On the other hand, Kidambi Srikanth defeated Mark Caljouw to cruise into the semi-finals of the Championships. Former world number one Indian thrashed the Dutch shuttler by 21-8, 21-7 in a contest that lasted for just 26 minutes.
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