(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Popov defeats number one seed Srikanth
Date: 3/26/2021 4:32 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Quarterfinals day at the Orléans Masters saw some great matches, sibling celebrations and career-defining victories. 

Toma Junior Popov, 22, is fast emerging as a major player on the European stage. After winning the SaarLorLux Open, he firmly stepped into the picture, but today’s victory consolidated it. 

At his home tournament, Popov caught the eye with his definitive two-game wins on the way to the quarterfinal, particularly his 21-7, 21-17 over the experienced Kashyap Parupalli. Today he faced the number one seed Srikanth Kidambi. 

The former world number one showed some vulnerability when losing to Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen at the All England Open 2021, and Popov absolutely capitalised on this. Srikanth looked in control in the opening game, building a 17-13 lead for himself, however, Popov has a dangerous ability to put runs together and won the next eight out of 10 points. 

Taking energy from this, Popov believed he had his opponent on the ropes and from 12-12, kicked away to the biggest win of his young career thus far, falling to his knees with a roar. 

After coming down from this elation, awaiting him in the semifinal is Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn who dispatched the number one in France, Brice Lerverdez, 21-13, 21-9 in just 31 minutes. 

Victorious siblings
Line Christophersen, 21, has been gaining valuable experience at the beginning of 2021 playing the world’s top stars, this week she hopes for a deep run in France. In the quarterfinal, she continued her dominance by rattling through three rounds in a total time of 73 minutes. 

She will now face a tough hurdle in fourth seed Saina Nehwal, who in stark contrast has spent a total time of 132 minutes on court. 

In a nice sibling coincidence, her older brother by two years, Mads Christophersen, scored a big win against Joran Kweekel on the same court just before. Kweekel knocked out Christo Popov in the previous round but had no answers for Christophersen, who won 21-14, 21-10 and will now face fellow Dane, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus. 

Watch Orléans Masters NOW via Badminton Live.

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