Huelva: Former world no.1 Kidambi Srikanth continued his scintillating run at the BWF World Championships, as he sailed into finals after defeating his compatriot Lakshya Sen 17-21, 21-14, 21-17 in a nail-biting encounter here on Saturday.
Srikanth became the first Indian male shuttler to reach the world championships final. Also, this was the first time in history that two Indian male shuttlers reached the semi-final stage.
The 20-year-old Sen had put up a great fight and tested his senior’s patience with his brilliant returns.
The first game looked like a closely-fought encounter in the beginning. The 20-year-old Sen gave a good fight to experienced Srikanth and went on for a breather with an 11-8 lead.
After the break, Sen extended his lead to 15-12. Srikanth then showed his masterclass and equalled the scores to 16-16.
Sen managed to keep his senior compatriot under pressure, as a result of which Srikanth committed few errors, and Sen took the first game with 21-17.
The youngster took an early 4-point lead (8-4) in the second game, but Srikanth turned things around to reduce the deficit and held a two-point advantage at the time of mid-game interval.
With six straight points, Srikanth maintained his lead. Sen managed to get few in between, but Srikanth kept his cool and stretched the match to a decider; taking the second game with 21-14.
The decider witnessed a neck-to-neck contest as the shuttlers were engaged in longer rallies. Sen took a slight 11-10 lead. Srikanth looked tired after longer rallies but one cannot write him off, as the ace shuttler levelled the scores with 15-all after trailing at 13-15.
Sen looked fluent in defence and tried to make Srikanth try by engaging him in longer rallies. Despite being drained out Srikanth took the decider, 21-17 and sailed through to the finals.
Srikanth will face either Ander Antonsen of Denmark or Loh Kean Yew of Singapore tomorrow in the final.