Kidambi Srikanth booked his place in the final of the Indonesia Super Series event in Jakarta in dramatic fashion as he saved a match point and needed a third to book his place in the crunch match. He beat World No 1 Son Wan Ho in the semifinal to reduce their head-to-head deficit to 3-4 in favour of the Korean. Srikanth emerged victorious 21-15, 14-21, 24-22 in an hour and 12 minutes. In the final he faces Kazumasa Sakai of Japan who beat HS Prannoy in a three-game contest earlier.
This is Srikanth’s second consecutive Super Series Final and fourth overall with the 22nd ranked Indian reaching the final of the Singapore Open Final back in April. Then he had lost to B Sai Praneeth in the final.
In the final game, Wan Ho made an error on his forehand to send the shuttle long and the challenge didn’t help him either to keep the game going on thin balance. This after Srikanth’s attacking shot had hit the frame of his racket at the net and helped the Korean to keep the point alive and eventually take it in his favour to bring up the match point.
On his first match point opportunity, Srikanth sent the shuttle straight into Wan Ho’s body who could do nothing but send it wide. But the Indian shuttler got overexcited in his response to bring the game back to even pegging.
Wan Ho made yet another unforced error when he sent his serve long but once again Srikanth couldn’t seal the deal. After two gorgeous smashes and equally strong defensive work by the Korean, Srikanth sent his usually thunderous smash into the net. On the third and subsequently final match point which came about after Srikanth’s angled smash, the Indian held firm to return after Wan Ho left the court vacant.
The first two games stood relatively even between the two players with both remaining even to start things off before Srikanth would take the advantage. In the first game that advantage of six points at the breather remained alive to take the first game but in the second Wan Ho didn’t allow any leeway to the Indian. He was better in attack and defence as Srikanth let his level drop to lose 11 of 12 points to go from 13-10 up to squander the game.