Rio de Janeiro, Aug 17: In a close fight game, India's shuttler Kidambi Srikanth lost to Lin Dan of China 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the men's singles event at the Rio Olympics here on Wednesday (Aug 17).
The 21-year-old from Guntur, who had beaten the five-time World Champion from China in the 2014 China Open final, suffered a 6-21 21-11 21-18 loss against the World No. 3 Chinese in a nerve-wrecking match that lasted for an hour and four minutes.
Srikanth lost the first set to two-time Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion by 6-21 and looked nervous in the high stake match.
He came back strongly and won the second set 21-11 but lost the match in 3rd set by 21-18. This loss marks an end to Srikanth's journey in the Rio Olympics and India's challenge in the men's badminton.
The left-handed Chinese continued to dominate with his controlled stroke play as he engaged in long rallies with the Indian to lead 10-1 after winning a video referral.
With Srikanth once again hitting long, Lin Dan entered the interval at 11-1. After the break, Srikanth tried to get a hold on his nerves and played long rally but always ended up hitting a wayward shot as Lin Dan continued to surge ahead. In the end, it was two unforced errors that gifted the game to the Chinese.
Lin Dan will now take on his long-time rival and two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in a mouth-watering semifinal clash.
The top seed beat sixth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-9 21-15.
Srikanth thus remained the second Indian male shuttler to reach the quarterfinals after Parupalli Kashyap achieved the feat at the London Games.
Here's how fans reacted after Srikanth's exit:
Lin Dan wins the day. Just about. What a great fight put up by @srikidambi!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) August 17, 2016
Well tried @srikidambi..both U & PGopichand have done Ind proud & there's plenty 2 conquer ahead!Pl keep it up & stick w/Yur self belief..!!— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) August 17, 2016
👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 @srikidambi simply super 👌🏼👌🏼— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) August 17, 2016
Heartbreaking scenes!! @srikidambi was his best but Lin Dan kept his cool to the end!! Mighty proud of Srikanth with the way he fought 👏👏— PRANNOY HS (@PRANNOYHSPRI) August 17, 2016
What a brave fight against the defending champion Lin Dan by #KidambiSrikanth! Well played - your day will come soon.— Vikram Chandra (@vikramchandra) August 17, 2016
Lin Dan won the game, Srikanth Kidambi won our heart— ZeroEight (@ARaveinBIRDman) August 17, 2016
Earlier on Tuesday, the World No.11 Srikanth stunned World No.5 Jorgensen 21-19, 21-19 in 42 minutes at the pre-quarters stage.