Leading Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap fought valiantly but went down to reigning World Champion Chen Long of China in the men's singles semi-final of the $600,000 Denmark Open Super Series Premier being played at Odense Saturday.
Unlike the final scores suggest, it was a close encounter before the Indian went on to lose the 45-minute encounter 16-21, 15-21 to the second seeded Chinese. With the win, the World No.2 extended his head-to-head to 6-1 over Kashyap.
"I just felt I needed to be a little more consistent to beat him. I surely messed up in the end of the first game. Three simple errors cost me the game. I could have won the game for sure which could have changed the match too," a disappointed Kashyap told IANS on the phone from Odense.
Playing at the Odense Sports Park, the Chinese World No.2 pulled out an 11-5 gap at the break of the first game but Kashyap clawed back to almost level the game at 13-14. He kept at the heels of Chen but at 16-17, the Hyderabadi made three errors which cost him the game.
The second game was also a neck-and-neck affair till 9-all but at that point, the Chinese displayed his superior skills to notch eight straight points and take an 17-9 lead.
It was obviously going to be extremely tough for the World No.28 Indian to come back from there and Chen sealed the tie in his favour in the next few minutes.
However, reaching the semi-final will certainly boost Kashyap's rankings, who defeated tough opponents including World No.3 Jan O Jorgensen earlier in the tournament.
"I am happy as this is my level. I want to reach the top-10 again and stay there. Then only I can win tournaments," Kashyap, a former World No.6, added.
The 28-year-old will next play at the $275,000 French Open Super Series to be held Oct 21-26 in Paris.