Indian badminton player Kidambi Srikanth he lost to world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the first round India Open 2023 men’s singles match at KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth lost to the reigning Olympic and World Champion 21-14, 21-19 in the round of 16 of the BWF Super 750 event.
This was Srikanth’s second straight first-round exit BWF 2023 world tour season. He lost to Kenta Nishimoto of Japan at the Malaysia Open earlier this month.
Kidambi Srikanth, 14th in the BWF world ranking, started the match strong but Viktor Axelsen used his height to good effect and led the Indian badminton player 11-8 after the first break. Axelsen then consistently built his lead to win the first game.
Kidambi Srikanth had a better performance in the second game and looked ready to stretch the game to the decider. However, Srikanth, leading 14-5 at one stage, lost seven points in a row to give the world champion the opening. The Dane then used the momentum to win the match in straight games.
It was Srikanth’s 10th loss to the Dane in 13 games. Srikanth’s most recent victory over Viktor Axelsen was at the 2017 Denmark Open and he has since lost all seven competitions, including the 2019 India Open final.
No Indians competing that day managed to win their opening round matches. The women’s singles matches of Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod and the women’s doubles pairs of Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam lost their matches later that day.
Aakarshi Kashyap lost to Beiwen Zhang of USA 21-15, 21-12 while Malvika Bansod defeated defending champion Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand 17-21, 12-21. Meanwhile, Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam could not match the intensity of reigning Commonwealth Games champions Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan of Malaysia and lost the match 8-21, 11-21.
London 2012 Olympic bronze medalist on Tuesday Saina Nehwal and reigning India Open champion Laksa Sen they advanced to the second round of their tournaments, while PV Sindhu lost to Thailand’s Supanida Katethong and was eliminated early.
The 2023 India Open, which is a BWF Super 750 tournament, will end on January 22.