Srikanth exits after loss to Lee Zii Jia


India’s Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals after losing to second-seeded Malaysian Lee Zii Jia in straight games in his third and final group B match in Bali on Friday.

The former world no. 1 Indian was no match for Lee, the reigning All England champion, going down 19-21 14-21 in 37 minutes to end his campaign.

It was Srikanth’s second loss to the world no. 8 Malaysian, who had defeated the Indian at the Hylo Open in straight games earlier this year.

Srikanth trailed 0-3 at the start but made his way to a slim 9-8 lead at one stage. An alert Lee, however, ensured a two-point advantage at the interval.

A six-point burst helped the Indian to again grab a 17-15 lead but he let it slip as Lee pocketed the opening game.

Srikanth made a good start in the second game, moving to 7-3 advantage but Lee once again turned the tables, jumping to a 13-9 lead and then kept his nose ahead to eventually shut the doors on the Indian.

The women’s doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa ended their campign with a 21-19, 9-21, 21-14 win against England’s Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith. They, however, failed to progress to the semis as thy had lost their previous two matches in the tournament.

The Indian duo finished third in Group B, only the top two finishers in each Goup advance to the semis. Srikanth also finished third in his group behind Lee and Kunlavut Vitidsarn, who he lost to on Thursday.

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