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Hong Kong Open: Srikanth, Sameer lose in quarterfinals

Kowloon (Hong Kong), November 16 (PTI) India’s challenge ended in the Hong Kong Open World Tour Super 500 tournament after Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma lost their respective individual men’s quarter-final matches here on Friday.   He suffered a 17-21 13-21 defeat to eighth seed Kenta Nishimoto for his first loss to the Japanese in four meetings. The Indian had defeated Nishimoto three times before this game.   Later, world number 18 Sameer also failed to dominate local hope Lee Cheuk Yiu, who reached the qualifiers to seal his first place in the semifinal with a score of 21-15 19-21 21-11 wins in a match that lasts one hour and 13 minutes here.   Srikanth could not threaten Nishimoto, who led 12-7 in a stage of the opening game. The Indian recovered and even had an advantage of 14-13, but the Japanese soon left him behind with four points in a row before pocketing the opening game. when Nishimoto went up to 6-2 and then he won seven consecutive points to get a huge 13-3 advantage, a deficit that the Indian could not eliminate to withdraw from the contest.   Later in the day, Sameer, who reached the final of the Hong Kong Open in 2016, could not find a way to outwit a Lee Cheuk Yiu athletic, who was rewarded for his control and accuracy.   Sameer had beaten Lee at the New Zealand Open earlier this year but that did not matter, as Lee opened a 4-0 lead in the opening game and consolidated it at 12-3 in one leg.   Sameer managed to recover until 15-16 but the Hong Kong player staggered. It requires five points to take the opening game. The Indian was delayed again in the second game, before he managed to clear a 5-8 deficit and take a 14-11 lead.   The Indian had a four-game lead at the end. Lee saved three before a polemic line call helped Sameer to take the match to the deciding game.   In the third game, the duo divided the 10 starting points before Lee gained a five-point lead, reaching 11-6 at halftime.   After changing the sides, Sameer could not interrupt the points race, going wide and long. The local qualifier was more aggressive and took advantage of the opportunities to continue his domination.   Lee finally sealed his place in the semifinals when the return of Sameer came to the network

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