Kidambi Srikanth beats Chen Long to win Australia Open Super Series

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

India shuttler Kidambi Srikanth defeated Olympic champion Chen Long in a dominating fashion to win the Australia Open Super Series men’s singles title on Sunday. Srikanth won in straight games 22-20, 21-16 to win his career’s fourth Super Series title.

This is world no 11 Srikanth’s second straight title victory in a week after he won the Indonesian Open Super Series Premier last Sunday.

Srikanth had reached the final of the Singapore Open in April and Indonesia Open before this tournament and has thus become only the fifth player in the world and the first Indian male shuttler to contest three consecutive Super Series finals.

The opening game was an evenly contested affair with the two opponents exchanging the lead. At the start, the rallies were a bit long but both resorted to an attacking game from thereon.

However, aided by his deceptive shots and searing smashes, Srikanth took 11-9 lead at the break. After the resumption, Long crawled back with three straight points to take lead at 12-11. The game went down the wire with the Chinese saving a game point with a cross court smash but the 24-year-old Indian eventually prevailed to win it 22-20 and take 1-0 lead in 23 minutes.

He was in red-hot form in the second game where he bossed over Long after a engrossing rally to win the first point with a 323 kph winner.

But Srikanth raced to a 6-2 lead over the current All England Champion and in a similar fashion to the opening game, took a 11-9 lead at the short break. Unlike the first game where Long launched a comeback, here Srikanth was in no mood to relent, opening a five-point lead at 19-15. And then sealed the game and the title at 21-16 to win the singles title.

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