It has been a superb week for Indian badminton in Jakarta. HS Prannoy beat the 2016 Olympics gold medallist and silver medallist in Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei before falling one short of the final in the semi-finals. But Kidambi Srikanth stood his ground against World No 1 Son Wan-Ho to enter the final. On Sunday he made things even better with a 21-11, 21-19 win over World No 47 Kazumasa Sakai.
Kidambi Srikanth vs Kazumasa Sakai Score and Updates:
Srikanth speaking after the win: Sakai started the second game really well. The changing point I think was the 13-13 point in the second game.
Message for coach: 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.
1546 hrs IST: Srikanth’s shot takes the net and goes over. 20-19. Follows it up with a massive shot at the net. WINS THE TITLE 21-11, 21-19!
1545 hrs IST: Srikanth after a good smash in the corner tries to go for a bit too much on the return. Into the tramlines. 18-19. Once again Srikanth comes back with a big smash into the body. 19-19.
1544 hrs IST: Sakai with a big smash to once again regain the lead. 18-17. Srikanth’s serve is called in by the linesman but Sakai challenges and loses it as it is in indeed. 18-18.
1543 hrs IST: Staying in it is Srikanth. Shot into Sakai’s body and the Japanese player fails to get the shuttle back. Down to one point. 16-17 now. But he follows it up with a smash that goes unreturned. 17-17
1541 hrs IST: Srikanth follows it up with a mistake at the net but a thumping smash follows thereafter. 15-15. Sakai with a jump smash winner to Srikanth’s right and the 362 kmph winner is too much. Srikanth makes an error with his backhand, tries to push the shuttle into the final third but gets a bit too much. 17-15
1540 hrs IST: Srikanth is caught out in the middle of the court and Sakai gets a decent drop shot on. Looked to have his foot stuck there in a way and that allows the score to once again be level at 14-14
1538 hrs IST: Srikanth with a big jump smash angled on Sakai’s backhand. Moved from right to left. Once again some thumping drives from Srikanth, a huge smash followed by a kill at the net. Make that two in a row but this time a kill at the net on the backhand side. Takes a 14-13 lead now Srikanth
1537 hrs IST: Sakai looks much better in the second game. Moving a lot better while Srikanth is rushing a bit too much into his shots. Trying to close out the point way too quickly. Sakai making most of that chance. 13-11 to the Japanese player now
1531 hrs IST: At the break in the second game, Sakai has taken an 11-6 lead
1528 hrs IST: Srikanth starts slowly in the second game. Sakai is up 7-3. Srikanth picks up an extremely low smash, and then smacks his own but his subsequent shot is straight into the net. Good try to keep the point going though.
1524 hrs IST: 20-11 and game point for Srikanth. Once again the let chord and Srikanth wins the opening game 21-11 in 13 minutes
1523 hrs IST: Sakai breaks the streak of points conceded and makes it 10-19. And now strings together two straight points as Srikanth doesn’t execute the drop perfectly. But gets the luck of the net immediately after it to make it 20-11
1522 hrs IST: Srikanth with his trademark push to the right and then kill at the net to build a nine point lead. Make that ten points as Sakai errs.
1521 hrs IST: Srikanth doing well to keep his racket head straight to keep the shuttle going back even as Sakai goes on the attack. The Indian player is in firm control of this match. Not even the net coming to Sakai’s aid here. 17-9
1519 hrs IST: Srikanth goes for a jump smash but the angle is a bit too much on it and it is into the tramlines. 13-9 now. Sakai tries to find the sideline but it is called wide. The Japanese player decides to challenge and it is out. 14-9 now
1517 hrs IST: At the breather in the first game, Srikanth leads 11-8 as Sakai’s push goes wide
1516 hrs IST: Cautious start by Sakai. Finding the net but Srikanth making some needless errors to keep handing the advantage back. Still keeping the Japanese player at one or two points distance each time
1514 hrs IST: Sakai thinks the shuttle is going long but it lands on. He follows it up with a nice touch once again and Sakai fails to read it.
1513 hrs IST: Srikanth builds a two point advantage to make it 5-3 before errors on the backhand to have it reduced. But he follows it up with a deft drop on the serve return to make it 6-4. Tries to find the sideline but is wide. 6-5
1512 hrs IST: Srikanth gets the match going and it is cagey beginning to things. 2-2 now early on. Now the Indian shuttler sends his gentle push long. 3-2 to Sakai but the Japanese player follows it up with an error. 3-3
1508 hrs IST: Both players are now on court. Srikanth in the black. Third appearance for the Indian in Indonesia. He needed three games in three of his matches and the second round was a straight games win. What will be the outcome today?