Kidambi Srikanth enters second round of Malaysia Open

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Kuala Lumpur, Apr 1: Newly-crowned India Open badminton champion, Kidambi Srikanth continued his impressive run as he notched up another hard-fought win over England's Rajiv Ouseph in a three-game men's singles match of the USD 500,000 Malaysia Open Super Series Premier, here today.

Srikanth recovered quickly after a hectic last week, which saw him wining the India Open title at the Siri Fort Complex last Sunday after a engrossing battle with World No.6 Viktor Axelsen in the finals.

File picture of Kidambi Srikanth who enters round 2 of Malaysia Open

The World No.4 Indian saw off 2010 Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Rajiv 10-21 21-15 22-24 in a battle that lasted 56 minutes at the Putra Stadium.

Srikanth had beaten Rajiv at the World Championship last year and he kept his record intact, setting up a clash with World No.16 Tian Houwei of China next.

In the first game, Srikanth grabbed control of the match early on before breaking off at 7-7. He blasted 10 straight points to create a huge gulf which Rajiv could never breach as the Indian lead 1-0. Srikanth had the opportunity of sealing the match in the second game itself but he squandered a 6-0 early lead as Rajiv rode on a six-point burst at 13-12 to roar back into contest.

The decider was a rollercoaster ride as Srikanth once again brought his never say die attitude to the fore, fighting back from 3-7 and 11-8 down to eventually edge out the England shuttler.

Srikanth has been on a roll ever since winning the China Open Super Series Premier last November. He reached the semifinals of the Hong Kong Open, World Super Series Finals, made it to the finals of Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold before winning the Swiss Open and India Super Series last month.

PTI

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