Home2017India's Srikanth on fire as Japanese players serve a 'sushi' delight in...

India’s Srikanth on fire as Japanese players serve a ‘sushi’ delight in Sydney

India's K. Srikanth showed no mercy as he whipped China's fourth seed Shi Yuqi 21-10, 21-14 in 37 minutes to reach the Crown Group Australia Open Superseries final – his third successive superseries final – and just one week after winning the BCA Indonesia Open Premier.

Srikanth, a quarter-finalist at last year's Rio Olympics, suffered a stress fracture after the Olympics which kept him out of competitive badminton for quite some time, called his recent rise in form as a "dream performance" but attributed it to lot of hard work that he has put in as he works towards the World Championships i Glasgow, Scotland in August.

Srikanth is in dreamland with his recent achievements and believes that things can only get better. He has beaten current world No 1 Son Wan-ho of Korea twice in two weeks – in the Indonesia Open semi-finals and the Australia Open(second round) – and this has boosted his confidence – ready to face reigning Olympics and world champion Chen Long in the final in Sydney on Sunday.

Chen Long, who added the Asian title in April title to his list of collections, came through a 68-minute battle to subdue Korean veteran Lee Hyun-ll 26-24, 15-21, 21-17 in 6 minutes.
It does not matter that Chen Long holds a 5-0 advantage in the head to head count. Srikanth lost twice to the Chinese ace this year.  In the German Open he lost 21-19, 22-20 while in the recent Sudirman Cup Mixed Team Championships in Gold Coast, Australia he lost 16-21, 17-21.

"I played a superseries final after two years and this was the Singapore Open in April. This was followed by the Indonesia Open which I won…and now I am in the Australia Open final. It will a tough final but I will give it a shot and hope to raise my game with an eye on the title," said Srikanth who won the China Open (2014) and the India Open (2015).

While Srikanth wrote himself into the history books as the first Indian player to ply in the three consecutive superseries final, Japanese players are also also enjoying a good run in the Australia Open.

The women's singles title is Japan's for the taking. It will be an all-Japan final after Akane Yamaguchi stunned world No 1 and top seed with a straight sets 21-19, 21-12 win in 37 minutes. Yamaguchi will face compatriot Nozomi Okuhara in the final. The unseeded Okuhara was also brilliant in her 21-18, 18-21, 21-14 victory over China's sixth seed Sun Yu after battling for 74 minutes.

Olympic champions Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi, the top seeds and world No 1 will face second seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christina Pedersen in the women's doubles final. It will be a repeat of the Rio Olympics final.

Japan's top men's doubles pair Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda will battle for the title against the Indonesia-Malaysia combo of Hendra Setiawan-Tan Boon Heong. Hendra-Boon Heong cae together only this year and this is their first superseries final.

Indonesians Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto (7th seeds) will take on top seeds Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen in the mixed doubles final.  

SEMI-FINAL RESULTS

Men's singles
K. Srikanth (Ind) beat Shi Yuqi (Chn) 21-10, 21-14
Chen Long (Chn) beat Lee Hyun II (Kor) 26-24, 15-21, 21-17

Men's Doubles
Hendra Setiawan-Tan Boon Heong (Ina/Mas) beat Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan (Chn) 21-15, 14-21, 21-17
Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) beat Lu Ching-yao-Yang Po-han (Tpe) 21-15, 21-15

Women's Singles
Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) beat Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe) 21-19, 21-12
Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) beat Sun Yu (Chn) 21-18, 18-21, 21-14

Women's Doubles
Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) beat Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn) 21-17, 21-11
Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen (Den) beat Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) 21-16, 20-22, 21-18 

Mixed Doubles
Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen (Chn) beat Wang Yilyu-Huang  Dongping (Chn) 21-13. 19-21, 23-21
Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto (Ina) beat Kim Dukyoung-Kim Ha-na (Kor) 21-19, 21-16

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