Jakarta: Indian shuttler Kiran George’s impressive journey in the Indonesia Masters came to an end in the quarterfinals, as he faced a formidable opponent in reigning world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand. Despite putting up a valiant effort, Kiran George succumbed to the world number 9 in a hard-fought battle that lasted 43 minutes, with a final scoreline of 14-21, 6-21. The quarterfinal defeat marked the conclusion of the Indian challenge in the BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament.
Earlier, world number 19 Lakshya Sen and Priyanshu Rajawat, ranked 30th, had exited the competition in their respective pre-quarterfinal matches. Additionally, India’s top men’s doubles pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, withdrew from the tournament despite reaching back-to-back finals in their previous two outings.
Kiran George, who had caused a stir by eliminating Chinese player Lu Guang Zu in the pre-quarters, found himself on the backfoot against Kunlavut Vitidsarn. Despite rallying to narrow the gap at the mid-game break, the Thai shuttler showcased his prowess, securing the opening game and carrying that momentum into the second game.
For Kunlavut Vitidsarn, the victory held particular significance as it marked his first win over Kiran at the senior level, following their previous encounter in the Malaysia International Series in 2017. IANS