Kidambi Srikanth has played a number of big matches against some top shuttlers, but his clash against Lin Dan in the quarterfinals of the men's singles competition on Wednesday will act as the biggest challenge of his career. After Indian woman PV Sindhu's win over Wang Yihan in the quarters, Srikanth will be keen to follow the woman into the men's semifinals of the Rio Olympics.
The Indian shuttler has to come up with his best game in the competition to defeat the Chinese star. Srikanth comes into this match with immense confidence after his amazing triumph over Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen in the prequarters to set up a date with Lin Dan.
Srikanth played the big points of the match brilliantly against Dane, which helped him reach the quarterfinals. Against Lin Dan, he needs to play all the points brilliantly, as the Chinese does not make much mistakes.
With all due respect, Lin Dan is a better player than Jorgensen, which can be easily understood by the Chinese shuttler's gold in the last two Olympics, and five world championship gold medals.
Despite the daunting task ahead, Srikanth is not perturbed in facing the five-time world champion, who is the overall favourite for the match, and also the gold medal in Rio.
"It is good to play Lin Dan in the quarterfinals of the Olympics. I am really hoping to win the match," The Hindu quoted Srikanth as saying.
Srikanth has become a much improved player in the last two years, and has defeated some top players as well. Srikanth has faced Lin Dan thrice, with one win and two losses. The Indian shuttler defeated the Chinese player in their last encounter during the China Open in 2014. Srikanth would love to bring his A plus game in Rio, and defeat the world champion for the second time in his career.
But Srikanth is not a great believer of past records, and just wants to deliver in the quarters.
"You have to stop thinking about old memories and start thinking about the present," Srikanth said.
Srikanth knows the herculean task ahead, with Lin Dan being a firm favourite. However, the Chinese, who had an easy outing in the group stages, will not take Srikanth lightly. What makes Lin Dan one of the best badminton players ever is his brilliant mix of skills. He is not only brilliant from the baseline, his game at the net is great too. Add to it, his world class defence, which makes him an all-round shuttler.
With Lin Dan always being an explosive player with his winning attitude, and Srikanth, who has taken his game to another level, the match will be hotly contested for a place in the semifinals.
Where to watch live
KIdambi Srikanth vs Lin Dan quarterfinals match will start at5:50 p.m IST (9:20 a.m local tim, 1:20 p.m BST, 8:20 a.m ET)
India: TV:Star Sports 2/HD. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK and Ireland: TV:BBC. Live Streaming:BBCiPlayer.
Chinese Taipei: TV : Chunghwa Telecom
Indonesia: TV: NEXMEDIA, SCTV
Middle East Countires TV:BeIN Sports. Live streaming:BeIN Sports Connect
Brazil: TV:SporTV, Globo, Fox Sports and ESPN.
Argentina: TV:ESPN and DirecTV. Live Streaming:ESPN Play Latin America.
Australia: TV:Channel 7, 7Two and 7Mate. Live Streaming:Channel 7 online.