Kidambi Srikanth has been on a roll in the past two weeks – he has beaten the World No 1 Son Wan Ho twice and beaten the top-ranked Chinese shuttler Shi Yuqi twice. Overall, he has now reached three straight Super Series finals that he’s played – Singapore, Indonesia and now Australia. On Sunday he took on Olympic champion Chen Long and emerged victorious in straight games.
Australian Open Super Series Final Scores and Updates:
1145 hrs IST: Srikanth gets overexcited and tries to go for an aggressive kill at the net but Chen Long stays firm to win the point. 19-15. Another lucky net for Chen Long and it is 19-16. Service error and MATCH POINT KIDAMBI SRIKANTH! And he wins it as Chen Long sends return long. Srikanth wins it 22-20, 21-16!
1144 hrs IST: Srikanth misjudges a serve and it lands in. 17-14. Chen Long with misjudged moment now. Shuttle lands well in and Srikanth is inching towards a fourth Super Series title. Another good angled smash. 19-14
1141 hrs IST: Srikanth goes for a bit too much on his forehand and the shuttle lands long. 14-12. Chen Long tries to play a drop shot but the shuttle is wide. 15-12. Srikanth’s drop shot is ready very well by Chen Long who stands up and pushes it back. 15-13. Srikanth comes back with a good shot and leads 16-13. Make that two straight points played with conviction. Strong smash and poor reply is thumped at the net. 17-13.
1140 hrs IST: Luck comes to Chen Long’s aid this time. Tries to push the drop behind but the shuttle trickles over after hitting the top of the let cord and goes over. 12-10. Another good drop by Srikanth and Chen Long tries to angle it but gets too much on it. 13-10. Another touch of the net and Srikanth can’t get the shuttle back. 13-11
1139 hrs IST: Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Baat address: “Badminton player Kidambi Srikanth recently won the Indonesia Open. He has made the nation proud”. Hope PM Modi gets to mention Srikanth once again for his win in Australia!
1137 hrs IST: Srikanth with a smash into open court and he leads 10-9. Another strong smash, giving little room to Chen Long and Srikanth is up 11-9 in the second game
1135 hrs IST: Srikanth with a neat drop shot and then a thumping smash to regain the lead. 8-7 now in favour of the Indian. Big cheers of “Srikanth! Srikanth!” from a certain Indian fan in attendance. Srikanth tries to go for a well disguised drop but doesn’t pull it off. But his next shot – a smash – goes unpicked. 9-8. Chen Long returns with strong forehand of his own. 9-9
1134 hrs IST: Four straight points for Chen Long and it is all even at 6-6 in the second game. Srikanth has gone for an angled shot that has been ruled in by the linesman but on review it is confirmed that it landed out. Chen Long leads 7-6 after five straight points
1131 hrs IST: Two points in a row for Chen Long. First courtesy a Srikanth error and now Chen with a nice smash to Srikanth’s right and it is well placed making it difficult to be picked up. Srikanth goes for a bit too much on the forehand and it is into the tramlines. 6-4
1130 hrs IST: Kidambi Srikanth has started the second game brightly to take a 5-2 lead. He’s finding the angles, forcing Chen Long into errors and frustrating the former World No 1. Once again an impressive angled shot has Chen caught short and that makes it 6-2.
1123 hrs IST: Short reply from Srikanth and Chen Long is all over it with a thumping angled smash. 20-20. Srikanth with amazing hands to control a Chen Long smash, simply guides it across the net and has Chen scrambling. 21-20. Second game point chance. GAME SRIKANTH! Chen Long sends shuttle into the net and Srikanth takes the opening game 22-20 in 23 minutes
1121 hrs IST: Luck of the net for Srikanth as shuttle trickles over and it sets up a short reply which is duly smashed away. 18-19. Chen Long makes an error and it is 19-19. Srikanth forces Chen Long into an error from a jump smash and game point Srikanth.
1120 hrs IST: Srikanth sends the backhand into the net. And in an attempt at being aggressive, leaves the court open and his angled shot doesn’t do enough to beat Long. 19-17 to Chen Long
1119 hrs IST: Srikanth hopes to catch Chen Long short but the attempted drop is easy pickings for the Chinese shuttler. And Srikanth follows it up with an error. 17-17.
1118 hrs IST: Srikanth is not going to let Chen Long cruise along without a fight and proves it with a glorious jump smash to make it 15-15. Chen Long goes for the same but is narrowly wide. Inches. And Srikanth now has Chen Long into making an error. 17-15
1114 hrs IST: Three straight points by Chen Long and Srikanth has seen his lead go away. But it is back to even stevens at 12-12 after Chen Long’s angled shot goes just wide. Follows it up with a strong smash that Srikanth gets to but the power is too much on it. Make that two strong smashes in a row – this one aimed at the body. 12-14 now
1111 hrs IST: Chen Long didn’t look convinced that Srikanth’s push was going long. Almost second guessed himself but in the end it does go long. Srikanth follows it up with a neat smash into open court and leads 11-9 after 11 minutes
1109 hrs IST: Srikanth with a well placed low smash that Chen sends into the net. 9-6. Srikanth sends his backhand shot into the net. Still up 10-8.
1107 hrs IST: Chen Long with good angled smash and Srikanth can’t send it back. 6-5. Long is unhappy about something as his shot lands long. Srikanth with a quick attack to a rather meek push back by Chen. 8-5. Now Srikanth sends the shuttle long. 8-6.
1105 hrs IST: Good show of all around game. Now pushing the shuttle into the final third. 5-3 to Srikanth and Long comes back with a half smash straight at Srikanth which is sent into the net. But Srikanth stays impressive with his drops and angles. 6-4. Chants of “jeetega bhai jeetega!” from the crowd.
1104 hrs IST: After two unforced and judgement errors by Srikanth, he comes back to have Long do the same. Expects the shuttle to land wide but it just about kisses the sideline. The review confirms it. Indian shuttler backs it up with a strong smash and then a deft drop to catch Chen short. 4-3 up now
1101 hrs IST: Srikanth starts with a service error. Follows it up with a nice little angled smash away from Long after a lengthy rally
1050 hrs IST: Unseeded Srikanth and Chen Long now set to take court after the end of the women’s singles and doubles finals. Japan dominance so far. Nozomi Okuhara winning the women’s singles title while Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi win the doubles