Kidambi Srikanth keeps hope alive in the Japan Open.

Kidambi Srikanth in Japan Open (Round Of 32)

Xtra Time Web Desk: For Indian badminton players, it was their bad luck that they couldn’t perform well in the Japan Open on Wednesday, 31st August. But the star Indian player Kidambi Srikanth registered a stunning straight-game win over world number 4 Lee Zii Jia and reached the pre-quarter finals. He defeated Lee Zii Jia in straight games, 22-20 and 23-21 in his men’s singles opener which lasted for 37 minutes. It was his first win over the Malaysian in four meetings.

However, it was a setback for Lakshya Sen, who lost to Kenta Nishimoto of Japan in tough 3 setter by 21-18, 14-21, 13-21. Saina Nehwal also went down in straight games to Akane Yamaguchi, 21-9 and 21-17 to suffer early exit.

On Wednesday, Srikanth found himself in a similar position where he almost wasted a 15-11 advantage by allowing Lee to grab three game points but the Indian held his nerves stronger and grabbed those five points on the trot to leave his younger rival stranded and seal the opening game.

Overall, it was a gritty performance from Srikanth, who is often guilty of not being able to close out narrow matches, despite doing all the hard work in setting up the points.