Kidambi Srikanth Says Umpiring At All England Open Was 'Ridiculous', Sikki Reddy's Service Video Gets Massive Support

Need for a single rule for all the tournaments?

After Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of All England Open in the second round on March 15, he lambasted the umpiring standards of the tournament and called it ‘ridiculous’. Srikanth made the statement after the alleged poor umpiring due to which China’s Huang Yuxiang got an edge over the Indian shuttler. He, however, is not the only one who raised this issue. On March 10, doubles player Satwiksairaj Rankireddy raised the same question and posted a video in protest. The video of her serve got massive support on Twitter as well.

Here’s what World’s No.3 badminton player Srikanth had to say after losing the match by 11-21, 21-15 and 20-22 against an unseeded Chinese shuttler –

There were too many service faults in the opening game. I didn’t expect that to happen. Yesterday I didn’t get even one, today it was totally changed. That should not happen in a tournament. There should be a specific rule. The umpire couldn’t find faults yesterday but today the umpire sitting there found too many faults. It is ridiculous.

Here’s the video Reddy posted on her Twitter account –

Here’s what the rule says about the serve and how it is assessed  –

The whole shuttle shall be below 1.15 meters from the surface of the court at the instant of being hit by the server’s racket. To assess the services, a pole has been set up in front of the judge with two glass panels — placed at a height of 1.15 meters from the court level — fixed atop either side of the pole. There are two dark lines drawn on either side of the glass panels and judges make their judgment looking at the lines when a player serves, which makes it prone to human error.

Poor umpiring led to N Sikki Reddy and Chirag Shetty losing the match by 16-21 21-16 21-23. Here’s how Twitterati supported her –

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The bizarre service rule has also been criticised by players like P V Sindhu, Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, Viktor Axelsen and prominent coaches such as Indias P Gopichand and Denmarks Kenneth Jonassen as it puts tall players at disadvantage.