Kidambi Srikanth on Saturday provided a little glimpse of how prolific he has been ever since coming back from the knee injury. He got the better of World No 1 Son Wan Ho in the semis by saving a match point and then converting on the third. On Sunday, he went one better to win the title against Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai 21-11, 21-19 to win his third Super Series title. Srikanth had previously won Super Series titles in India and China. The win is likely to move Srikanth in the top-five and even as good as World No 2 after his remarkable win over Wan Ho.
Srikanth was in the final of a Super Series event for a second straight tournament after reaching the decisive game in Singapore but there he lost to fellow Indian B Sai Praneeth. For the World No 22 Srikanth, the first game was a straight forward contest where he stretched his lead relatively easily as Sakai let nerves get the better of him. At one stage he led by 10 points to go up 19-9.
In the second game, Sakai showed what made him come out victorious in the semifinal against HS Prannoy who was on a winning streak having beaten Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei. There Sakai had won 17-21, 28-26, 21-18 to reach the final.
After the win, Srikanth said, “Sakai started the second game really well. The changing point I think was the 13-13 point in the second game.”
He also credited his Indonesia’s Mulyo Handoyo for being a vital member in his return. “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,” he said. Handoyo has been roped in to work on fitness of the players and make them more aggressive in their play.