Kidambi Srikanth has been one of the best male Indian players in the badminton circuit for quite some time, and the shuttler has reached the quarterfinals of the Japan Open. Srikanth secured the round of eight berth after fellow countryman Ajay Jayaram retired from the match, and the former won via walkover on Thursday.
Though Jayaram retired, there was some fine shuttle display by both the shuttlers, who played some amazing shots in the only game played during the match. The first game, which lasted for 19 minutes, finished with Srikanth taking 1-0 as the score read 21-16.
This match against Jayaram did not test Srikanth much, but the highest ranked Indian shuttler was taken to three sets in the opening round by Parupalli Kashyap. After losing a game initially, Srikanth came back strongly to win the second and third, and with it the match as well.
The competition, ahead, will only get intense as Srikanth will meet Germany's Marc Zwiebler in the quarterfinal on Friday.
Five Indian shuttlers were present in the main rounds of the Japan Open. Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth were dumped out of the competition in the first round, and Jayaram has also joined the list.
With Srikanth having attained the quarters berth, HS Prannoy will also hope for the same, but needs to defeat Denmark's Viktor Axelsen later in the day to become the second Indian to progress into the last eight.