Sydney: Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth produced yet another flawless and spectacular performance as he outplayed China’s Chen Long in straight sets to lift his maiden Australian Open Super Series title on Sunday.
Playing in his third consecutive Super Series final, Srikanth needed just 46 minutes as he fended out Chen Long 22-20 in the summit clash as he continued his dream run of 2017.
Srikanth showed no signs of discomfort and was just ruthless with his aggressive play as he defeated his Chinese opponent in straight games to win his fourth Super Series title.
Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Himanta Biswa Sarma announces Rs. 5 lakh cash reward for Kidambi Srikanth.
In the first game, the Indian shuttler held his never even though Chen Long threatened to run away with the advantage having secured a two-point lead, winning four points in a row, moving to 19-17.
However, Srikanth, the former world number three, made a strong comeback to take the first game 22-20 and have an early advantage in the all-important final.
The second game began with a prolonged rally ended by Srikanth’s powerful down-the-line smash as he took an early 4-1 lead after employing a backhand smash.
Leading at 6-2, Chen, the reigning world champion attempted to attack back, hitting long shots to force the Indian shuttler to play wider and commit errors as Chen scored five consecutive points to take a lead at 7-6.
Srikanth, however, continued to remain aggressive but trailed for the first time in the game after a successful challenge from Chen.
The lead went on going back-and-forth in the second game and then both players adopted an attacking style of play post the changeover.
With the scores at 16-13, Srikanth scored one winner after the other and took the lead at 19-16.
Chen then hit a service error to give Srikanth his first match point opportunity and he converted it soon after as the Chinese hit a return long to win the match and his second Super Series final in two weeks.
With the win, Srikanth has now gone to number one in Dubai Destination Rankings
He had recently won the Indonesia Open Super Series as well.