New Delhi [India], January 18 (ANI): India's ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth suffered a second consecutive BWF World Tour 2023 first-round exit after his defeat to World No 1 Viktor Axelsen at the India Open 2023 men's singles competition on Wednesday at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi.
In the round of 32 of the BWF Super 750 competition, Kidambi Srikanth, a former World No. 1, was defeated by the current Olympic and world champion in straight sets 21-14, 21-19.
At the Malaysia Open earlier this month, he was defeated by Japanese player Kenta Nishimoto to crash out in the first round as per the Olympics website.
The match started off strongly for Kidambi Srikanth, who is ranked 14th in the BWF global rankings, but Viktor Axelsen used his height well to take an 11-8 advantage over the Indian player at the midgame break in the first set. The first game was won by Axelsen after he steadily extended his lead.
In the second game, Kidambi Srikanth played well and appeared poised to extend the match into a decider. However, Srikanth let up seven straight points to the world champion, giving up a lead of 14-5 at one point. The Danish player capitalised on the momentum to win two games in a row to secure the win.
This was Srikanth's 10th loss against the Dane in 13 meetings. Viktor Axelsen was last defeated by Srikanth in a match at the 2017 Denmark Open, and since then, including the 2019 India Open final, he has lost all seven matches against him.
On the day, no Indian competitor was successful in winning first-round matches. Women's doubles team Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam, as well as women's singles players Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod, both suffered defeats.
Malvika Bansod was defeated by reigning champion Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand 17-21, 12-21, while Aakarshi Kashyap was defeated by USA's Beiwen Zhang 21-15, 21-12. Malaysia's Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan, the current Commonwealth Games champions, outplayed Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam in a match that they ultimately lost 8-21, 11-21.
Saina Nehwal, who won the bronze medal at London 2012, and Lakshya Sen, the defending India Open winner, both advanced to the second round of their respective competitions on Tuesday, but PV Sindhu was eliminated early after losing to Supanida Katethong of Thailand.
The India Open 2023 will end on January 22. (ANI)