NEW DELHI: In what can be called one of his most dominant wins, India’s Kidambi Srikanth extended his fine form in the Australian Open Super Series by reaching the final of the event with a resounding 21-10, 21-14 win over fourth-seeded Shi Yuqi of China. This is Srikanth’s third consecutive final having ended runner-up in the Singapore Open and winning the Indonesia Open crown last week. He is also the first Indian male badminton player to do so.
Srikanth, who had previously beaten Yuqi in the Singapore Open, winded up the match in less than 40 minutes with a clinical display of smashes and backhands. The opening game began with nothing to choose between the two shuttlers. Srikanth and Yuqi matched each other point to point with the game levelled at 5-5. But from there, Srikanth raised his game to a whole new level, showing tremendous court coverage. The way he picked Yuqi’s smashes were signs that he was moving well. Not providing the Chinese much breathing room, Srikanth sealed the opening game 21-10 in just 15 minutes.
Game 2 also began on an even keel. The score was tied at 6-6 before Srikanth stretched his lead to 11-8. Srikanth bagged a couple of lucky points to extend his supremacy to 14-8, but with time running out, Yuqi showed signs of life by winning the next three points. That however, was the last gush of adrenaline the Chinese could muster.
With Srikanth three points away from victory, he sent down a well-placed smash to make it 19-13 in his favour, but in process, fell down hard. After being down for a few seconds however, Srikanth got up and breezed his way into the final, fittingly with a smash. He will face the winner of the Chen Long vs Lee Hyun II match later in the day.