Super Srikanth lifts Australian Open Super Series

Kidambi Srikanth has done it again, his terrific run continues in Australian Open Super Series 2017 as he beats Olympic Champion, Chinese player Chen Long in the final of the tournament by 22-20, 21-16.

Srikanth started the big final on a high, racing to to a 6-4 lead in the first game and went into the mid-game interval with a two-point advantage. But all that counted for nothing on Sunday as Srikanth bridged that head-to-head gap and won his fourth Super Series title with a comprehensive 22-20, 21-16 victory.

But the Indian was no pushover and played the catch-up game quite well, coming up with a couple of brilliant smashes of his own. The win also made sure the 24-year-old won his second straight Superseries title after his Indonesia Open glory last week.

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.

Trailing early in the opening game, Srikanth came back strong and led the first game 11-9 at the interval. 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.

The Hyderabadi attacker played two wonderful shots thereafter - a smooth drop shot on the front court and a powerful smash on the back court - to win two points and made it 8-7. From crosscourt smashes to resolute lifts, Srikanth forced the current World No. 6 to commit unforced errors and net his shots to lead 11-9 at the changeover.

And it was this tenacity which got Srikanth a 17-15 lead even though Long continued to breathe down his neck.

The second game began with an engaging baseline rally, which ended with Srikanth smashing his way to earn the first point.

The first set saw a close fight where Srikanth was ahead by two points but in the second the Indian shuttller picked up the pace and thrashed Cheng Long by a margin of 5 points.

  • Leroy Wright