Kidambi Srikanth beat Jason Anthony Ho-Shue of Canada 21-15 and 21-14 in 33 minutes in straight games to reach the quarterfinals of the Denmark Open on Thursday.
Srikanth controlled the pace of the game from the start and Ho-Shue never looked like winning. One interesting aspect of his game was his different approach as he tired out his opponent and won points by placing his shots as against his usual smash-and-grab style of play. There were fewer Super Smashes that he is known for. Perhaps he was trying out a different way to play, conserving energy for his matches ahead or trying to get into his rhythm after the lockdown. Whatever may be the case, it was not a typical Srikanth match. Nonetheless he got the job done and will now face his toughest opponent yet – world number 13 and second seeded Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in
It was a completely different story for Lakshya Sen. He struggled for fluency throughout the match. He started by winning Game 1, 21-15, but that was more due to his opponent’s unsuccessful net shots and overly aggressive play than Sen’s efforts. Game 2 was much more one sided and he lost 21-7. As the match went deep in Game 3, Sen’s fitness was found out and his opponent Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus playing on home turf took full advantage and played longer rallies to tire out the young Indian taking the game 21-17. The Dane took 55 minutes to beat Sen. It was a moment to savor for the Dane as he got through to the quarterfinals for the 1st time in 15 attempts.
With only three more rounds to get through to win the title, the Dane will be hoping to pull off a miracle while Srikanth will aim to build his momentum with the bigger picture of qualifying for Tokyo 2021 in his mind.