Srikanth Kidambi finished off the Australian Open in style as he defeated Chen Long in an emphatic fashion. The Indian put up a dominating performance against the reigning Olympic champion. As a result, he took home the second consecutive super series title of the year. Breaking the jinx of five losses in his previous encounters with the Chinese, Srikanth was sixth time lucky when it mattered the most. Here is how the summit clash spanned out –
A memorable final for Srikanth Kidambi:
As the final was underway, the Indian made a nervous start with a service error. After that, it was the Guntur lad to get off the blocks and moved to 10-6 against his rival. At the mid-game interval, it was the Indian who was leading 11-9. Long put up a fightback to make it equal at 11-11, but it was not much time before Srikanth had a game point at 20-19. The two-time World Champion came back again managing an important save at a crucial juncture. But it was in vain as the All England Champion faltered, in the end, to give away two points. Therefore Srikanth was 1-0 ahead capturing the first game 22-20 in 23 minutes.
In the second game, Srikanth put forth a scintillating performance throughout. Playing some deceptive shots at the net and powerful cross-court smashes, the man in red edged past his nemesis by 17-13. Further, a bad decision on the baseline cost him a point taking the scoreboard to 17-14. However, the time was running out for the Chinese as the Indonesian Open champion was showcasing some excellent shuttling skills. When the game was at 19-16, a service error by Long under pressure gave Kidambi the championship point. Before Chen could realize the cost of error, Srikanth won the game 21-16. Now it was celebration time for the Indian fans, especially for Srikanth who went down into history books once and for all. Yes! Srikanth Kidambi was crowned the champion of Australian Open 2017 World Superseries.
A dream run for the Indian:
The last couple of weeks have been magnificent for the Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth and has put him in a consolidating position. The World No. 11 will enter the top 10 rankings for the first time in 2017, his previous best being the number 3 position. This is what he said after the triumph:
I am very happy with my performance today and everything worked perfectly for me. I played very well and I want to continue playing as good as I can in the future.
Pullela Gopichand too was elated with the way his student played in the finals. He said:
It is really good to see Srikanth attck so well and also his net play was classy. I am absolutely amazed with his consistency and fitness levels.
No wonder he’s on a dream run off late and it seems as if he hardly puts a foot wrong on the court. Way to go Srikanth, hope to see more of your excellence in future! Below is a tweet by our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulating Srikanth on his success.