Kiran goes down to world champion Vitidsarn, Indian challenge ends

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Jakarta, Jan 26 (PTI) Indian qualifier Kiran George's dream run ended in the quarterfinals when he lost to reigning world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the Indonesia Masters here on Friday.

The Indian world number 36 went down 14-21 6-21 to the world number 9 in a battle lasting 43 minutes.

With this, the Indian challenge also ended in the BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament.

World number 19 Lakshya Sen and Priyanshu Rajawat, ranked 30th, had lost their respective pre-quarterfinals on Thursday.

World number 7 HS Prannoy, who is the top ranked Indian, had made an opening round exit going down to Kean Yew Loh of Singapore.

India's top men's doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had pulled out of the tournament after reaching back-to-back finals in its last two tournaments.

Kiran, who eliminated Chinese Lu Guang Zu from the pre-quarters on Thursday, found himself on the backfoot trailing 0-3 and saw the deficit stretch to 4-8.

But he won three points in a row to to make it 8-11 at the mid-game break.

The Thai shuttler, however, upped his game to win four successive points en route to take the opening game.

Vitidsarn was ruthless in the second game reeling off 11 points in a row on both sides of the the break that gave him a commanding 18-5 lead.

It was then a formality for Vitidsarn to seal a semi-final clash against Anders Antonsen of Denmark.

For the 2023 world champion this was incidentally his first win over Kiran at senior level. Kiran had defeated Vitidsarn in Malaysia International Series in 2017.

The Thai shuttler had defeated Kiran at the Under-17 level in 2016. PTI TAP APA APA

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