Kidambi Srikanth's class acts lift up Indian badminton stock

Kidambi Srikanth B Sai Praneeth win openers to reach second round of Australian Open Superseries

Continuing his fine run, recently-crowned Indonesia Open champion Kidambi Srikanth on Friday defeated fellow Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth in a men's singles quarterfinal of the $750,000 Australia Open Superseries here.

In the finals, he was up against the current Olympic champion Chen Long of China and the Gunter lad was at his supreme best against the World No. 6, winning the match 22-20, 21-16 in a rather comfortable manner.

Srikanth, who won last week's Indonesia Open and also reached the Singapore Open final in May, gave a masterclass in net play and deception to blitz Shi. However, the Indian shuttler made a strong comeback to clinch the first game 22-20 to take an early advantage in the all-important final of the Australian Open Super Series in Sydney on Sunday. "But since I made the final I wanted to continue to play as well as I could", an ecstatic Srikanth said after the victory. He took the second game and had his chances in the third until a late surge by Chen proved too much.

Okuhara won her first World Superseries title since the All England past year, displaying the full extent of her indefatigable retrieving style in getting the better of Yamaguchi.

Kidambi Srikanth is enjoying the best phase of his career. Last month this day, he was just another fighter jostling at World No 24, and only India's fourth best. Srikanth then concluded the game at 21-16 to win the title. "I congratulate him for yet another wonderful win", Prime Minister Modi wrote on Twitter.

The opening game was tight with long rallies but Srikanth was patient.

Tailing 17-19 in the last, Srikanth displayed some quality shots and smashes to make it 21-19.

Srikanth had stewed over the disappointment of missing out on an Olympics semifinal spot when after leading, he had crumbled into a bunch of errors at Rio against Lin Dan.

The second game started with an incredibly long rally that Srikanth won with a smash down the line.

With the scores at 16-13, Srikanth scored one victor after the other and took the lead at 19-16. To know more, visit Nostragamus.inKidambi Srikanth or Chen Long?

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