South Korean top seed Son Wan Ho utterly dominated Kidambi Srikanth in the quarter-finals of the BWF World Championship and entered the semifinals with a straight game win of 21-14 and 21-18. Although Srikanth tried to stage a comeback in the second game, it was too little too late.
Eighth-seed Srikanth registered a comprehensive straight games win over 14th-seed Anders Antonsen to reach the quarterfinals whereas South Korean top seed Son Wan Ho edged past Thai 11th seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-18, 21-13 to book his date with the Indian shuttler. This was the ninth face-off between the duo with a head-to-head record being 4-4 earlier.
Son Wan Ho hits the ground running with first game win
Son Wan draws the first blood of the game from his serve as after a long rally Srikanth hit the shuttle out of the court for an unforced error to give the top-seed a 1-0 lead. Srikanth seemed to be under the pump from the word go and was not able to deal with the hard-hitting of the South Korean who raced to a 6-1 lead in no time. But the Indonesian and Australian Open champion Indian star started scripting a comeback as he closed down the gap to one point with fantastic serve and body smashes. However, the duo didn’t give an inch to the other after that as they continued exchanging points until the game reached 9-8. But at the first break of the first game, Wan Ho sit with a three-point lead at 11-8 over his Indian counterpart. Despite Srikanth’s terrific effort, the Korean moved to a comfortable position with a lead of 17-12. Srikanth failed to get rid of the unforced errors that he was committing as the Korean took a 20-14 lead and soon sealed the first game 21-14.
Wan Ho holds off a late comeback from Srikanth to end the Indian’s campaign
Son Wan started the second game in the same way as in the first game and raced away to a 5-2 lead. Srikanth was reeling under the hard hitting prowess of Son Wan who was constantly making the Indian run the full length of the court. Finally, Kidambi successfully earned next two points on offer as the scorecard read 8-4 and soon took his lead to 11-4 at the mid-game interval. Although Kidambi secured the next point with a powerful smash down the line, Ho successfully grabbed next two points and took the scorecard to 13-5. However, Kidambi started to script a fantastic come back as he claimed seven points on a trot with a combination of both power and touch to reduce the deficit to 12-16. Finally, Ho managed to broke Srikanth’s momentum and earned two points to take a six-point lead at 18-12. But, he couldn’t do it for a long time as Srikanth’s powerful smash and drop shot reduced the scorecard to four points. Ho overhit the shot which helped Srikanth make a comeback in the game as he added two more points in his favour and took the score to 19-18. However, Srikanth’s dream of getting the better of the Korean didn’t take off as the World No.1 entered the semifinals with a 21-14, 21-18 win.