Srikanth to take on Chen Long in Australian Open final

Yuqi was completely overwhelmed by the barrage of smashes and half-smashes that tore his defence to shreds.

With two powerful smashes on two different sides of the court, Srikanth went into the break with an 11-9 lead. However, to Yuqi's discomfiture, the drift would not let him control the length of his clears; and he either pushed them out or left them hanging tantalisingly in midcourt for his opponent to apply the finishing touches. He moved Chen Long around the court as he if he was playing an amateur.

In the Womens's doubles, Denmark's Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen beat the Japanese pair of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota 21-16 22-20 21-18 to reach the final. He became the fifth player in the world to contest three successive Super Series finals. It is far from easy to be at your best when you have been kept on court for almost two-and-a-half hours over the two preceding days. The Chinese player did manage to delay the inevitable by winning back-to-back points but Srikanth too did the same with the scores reading 19-16 to secure the game and the match. Yes, Srikanth appears all set to claim the thunder Down Under.

Chen enjoys a 5-0 advantage against Srikanth in the head to head record and the Indian will have to be at the top of his game during Sunday's final in order to have a chance of clinching the title.

China's Chen gave himself a shot at his first Superseries title this year by fighting off South Korean veteran Lee Hyun-Il 26-24, 15-21, 21-17 in 68 minutes. You certainly need to be, if you wish to slip it across the great Lin Dan, who is also a giant mentally. As he lifted the Australian Open title, Srikanth became the first Indian man to win the championship. "Last week I lost to her but I want to challenge her tomorrow".

The Chinese shifted gears quite suddenly to add pace to the proceedings and his baseline strokes stood out for both ferocity and accuracy.

The women's final on Sunday will be an all-Japanese affair between Akane Yamaguchi and Nozomi Okuhara.

  • Julie Sanders