Srikanth wins Australian Open

Srikanth wins Australian Open

 Kidambi Srikanth is enjoying the best phase of his career. The 24-year-old on Sunday clinched the Australian Open, his second super series title in as many weeks, beating reigning Olympic Champion from China Chen Long 22-20, 20-16.

It was Srikanth’s third consecutive Super Series final – he had reached the final of Singapore Open in April and won the Indonesia Open last week – to become the first Indian male shuttler and fifth in the world to accomplish the feat.

It was also Srikanth’s first win over the Chinese in six meetings. Last week, he had broken the jinx of four successive defeats to World No 1 Korean Son Wan Ho in the Indonesia Open before beating him again in the Australian Open.

His irrepressible form has pitched World No 11 Indian among the favourites for the World Championships in Glasgow from August 21-27. Srikanth, who suffered a stress fracture after Rio Games, however, wants to keep his focus on the present moment.

Against Long, in a high pressure final on Sunday, Srikanth’s attack and execution was spot on.

“These conditions are such you can’t really attack. It’s a bit slow, you have to be prepared for a long match. In all the breaks I had the advantage, (coach) Mulyo told me to keep it going, not to make simple mistakes and allow him back into the match. There was a long rally early in the second game and after I won that I got more confident. My attack worked really well,” said Srikanth.

“I should thank my physio for keeping me fit for these two tournaments. It was tough for me on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

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