Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has won the Indonesia Open Super Series title by beating his Japanese counterpart Kazumasa Sakai 21-11, 21-19 in straight games.
It couldn’t have been more comfortable come-back for the Guntur-born shuttler, who defeated the World number 1 Son Wan Ho of South Korea 21-15, 14-21, 24-22 in the previous round to book his place in the final yesterday. It was duly expected to be a cagey affair and it delivered the same, with both Srikanth and Sakai breathing heavily on the neck of each other.
From the first shot, quick one-twos followed and Srikanth, who was playing his second straight Super Series final, soon found himself leading 6-5. Srikanth soon gained up the pace and extended his lead to 11-8. Smashes were flying, however, a needless error reduced the deficit, but not for long. He soon extended his tally to 17-9 and only allowed his counterpart two more points. Srikanth only needed 13 minutes to win the first game.
Sakai was never the one to deny and a slow start by Srikanth allowed the Japanese to take an early 7-3 lead. Going into the break of the second game, Sakai established an 11-6 lead. The 27-year-old was looking a deadlier presence in the second game, but Srikanth soon reduced the deficit to just two points, with the scores stating 13-11, and this is when the game turned on to its head.
Both were playing a cautious game and were not allowing a slightest of a chance to each other, until the time the scores tied up at 19-19. Two back to back points followed and Srikanth clinched the title.
“Sakai started the second game really well. The changing point I think was the 13-13 point in the second game.” Srikanth was quoted by the Indian Express.
Message for coach: “I’ve played the Singapore final and now I am here and won now. I really feel happy to win here and thanks to fans for the support.”