Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Shuttler Srikanth in Australian Open final

PV Sindhu PV Sindhu
Mike Hodges | 25 June, 2017, 01:31

The only Indian left in the competition, Srikanth has reached three consecutive Superseries finals now with his win over Shi and could win his fourth Superseries crown on Sunday.

Kidambi Srikanth entered the $750,000 Australian Open men's singles final easily, making short work of Chinese fourth seed Shi Yuqi in straight games in Sydney on Saturday.

Shi did keep up with the Indian's quickness and attack and showed good defensive shots but Srikanth took a comfortable 11-8 lead at halfway break.

He is just one step away from clinching second straight SS title and he looks unstoppable at the moment.

A former World No.3, Srikanth, who had reached the semifinals in the last edition, produced yet another near- flawless performance to outclass All England finalist Shi 21-10 21-14 in a 37-minute match to notch up his second win over the Chinese.

Srikanth will now either play reigning Olympic champion or two-time World champion and All England champion Chen Long or Korea's Lee Hyun II in the finals. It's just that I had to stay there and not give him easy points. He is also the first Indian male badminton player to do so. "I was in control at the net". However, the difference turned out to be too much as Srikanth continued to force him to lose points through a range of flicks to lead 19-13.

In the first game, after initial close battles, Srikanth raced ahead to make it 15-9.

The first game started with Srikanth's first point coming from his trademark powerful smash. Shi seemed lost for ideas as Srikanth's vast experience and superior net play meant that he had to play out of his comfort zone.

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