Home2017India's badminton 'gem' Srikanth takes Australia Open title in style

India’s badminton ‘gem’ Srikanth takes Australia Open title in style

Indian badminton is celebrating a new high when K. Srikanth, ranked 11th, continued his winning streak – winning his second superseries title in two weeks when he added the Crown Group Australia Open Superseries title on Sunday – just a week after winning the BCA Indonesia Open Supersries Premier.

The 24–year-old Indian ace stunned reigning Olympics and two-time world champion Chen Long of China 22-20, 21-16 in 46 minutes in the final in Sydney. His back-to-back titles will see the Indian move into the top 10 bracket when the new BWF ranking list is issued on Thursday.
Srikanth continued his hot streak which began in April when he reached the OUE Singapore Open final but lost to compatriot B. Sai Praneeth 17-21, 21-17, 21-12.

It is a milestone for Indian badminton as no Indian player has reached three successive finals in the superseries. Srikanth, who was ranked a high No 3 in 2015, is making heads turns with his recent form and he has now set his sights on this year's World Championships to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in August and Srikanth has become a "hot" name in the badminton world.
The Indian ace will certainly cherish his win over Chen Long in the Australia Open as it was his first in six meetings.

In the Indonesia Open, Srikanth became the first Indian to win the men's singles title. In the final he beat Japan's Kazumasa Sakai 21-11, 21-19.

Srikanth won his first superseries in 2014 when he won the China Open – defeating Chinese legend, five-time world champion and two-time Olympics champion  Lin Dan 21-19, 21-17 in his own backyard.

Following his win in the China Open, the 1.78m tall Srikanth won the India Open in 2015 with a 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 win over Denmark's Viktor Axelsen in the final. Last year he reached the Rio Olympics quarter-finals but lost to Lin Dan 6-21, 21-11, 8-21.

After the Rio Olympics he picked up an ankle injury (stress fracture) while playing in the Japan Open – an injury which forced him to lay off from competitive badminton but it did not stop him from training diligently. Although his right foot was in a cast Srikanth was practicing his shots with the help of a trainer – while sitting on a stool.

The badminton fraternity is also taking note that Indian players have won four of the six superseries so far this year. And with players like Praneeth, H.S. Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram in the stable there could be more Indians hogging the limelight this year.

"I will play to win in the world championships," said Srikanth after his win in Sydney.
The win over Chen Long has certainly given Srikanth a "big confidence boost" as it came in the wake of a 16-21, 17-21 defeat to Chen Long in the recent  Sudirman Cup Mixed Team Championships in Gold Coast, Australia.
  

RESULTS (ALL FINALS)

Men's singles
K. Srikanth (Ind) beat Chen Long (Chn) 22-20. 21-16

Men's Doubles
Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) beat Hendra Setiawan-Tan Boon Heong (Ina/Mas) 21-17, 21-19

Women's Singles
Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) beat Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) 21-12, 21-23, 21-17

Women's Doubles
Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) beat Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen (Den) 21-10,  21-13 

Mixed Doubles
Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen (Chn) beat Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto (Ina) 18-21, 21-14, 21-17

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