Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Srikanth in semis; Saina, Sindhu bow out of Australian Open

Srikanth in semis; Saina, Sindhu bow out of Australian Open

"Congratulations @srikidambi on beating reigning Olympic & World Champion Chen Long & winning a 4th Superseries title".

Celebrating the historic moment, BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma has announced a bounty for the shuttler, who not only won his fourth superseries title but also also became the only sixth badminton player in the world to make it to three consecutive superseries finals on the trot.

Praneeth, who defeated Srikanth in the Singapore Open final in April, started the June 23 first game on a strong note, opening up a healthy lead of 9-6.

Both players adopted an attacking style of play post the changeover, with Srikanth capitalising on his steep smashes and Chen taking advantage of his height by playing drop shots. But keeping with the trend of the game, Srikanth levelled things up at 19-all, before giving himself a game point opportunity after Long netted a return.

"It's is just that I'm not thinking of winning or losing".

Srikanth had a comfortable lead towards the end of the game which helped him get past Chen easily. Eventually, the Indian went into the mid-game interval with a two-point lead after a cross court smash. He had previously won the China Open in 2014 and the India Open in 2015.

The opening game was tight with long rallies but Srikanth was patient. Not in recent times has one seen a player from India display the kind of supremacy in an global badminton final that Srikanth conjured up.

It took Srikanth a minute less than the first game to wrap up a rather comfortable victory.

The triumph was a morale-boosting jinx-breaker for Srikanth, who had lost all his previous five encounters to Long.

"I am happy to maintain good form and win titles".

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. Srikanth continued to remain aggressive but trailed for the first time in the second game after a successful challenge from Chen.

NOTED industrialist and diversified business conglomerate Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindra said he will "personally" hand over a TUV300 to shuttler Kidambi Srikanth.

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