Kidambi Srikanth was at his fluent best as he claimed top honours in the Denmark Open Super Series Premier in Odense on Sunday.
The Indian dished out a flawless performance in his 21-10, 21-5 win against Korean veteran Lee Hyun Il in what turned out to be a one-sided final.
With this win, Srikanth clinched his third Super Series title in 2017. He is only the sixth player in badminton history to reach four men’s singles Super Series finals. He is also the second Indian after Saina Nehwal to win three Super Series titles in a year.
Earlier this year, the Hyderabadi had won the Indonesia Super Series Premier and the Australia Open Super Series. Srikanth took home a prize money of Rs 36.61 lakh for his effort in Odense
Delighted with his victory Srikanth said that he did not expect such an easy final. “Very happy to win another title. It’s a good game I think he must have been tired after yesterday’s long match. I am really happy with the way I have played today and I thank everyone for supporting me so much here. It has been a fantastic week for me. I am looking forward to coming back here and defend the title,” said Srikanth adding that he was still cautious even after winning the first game very easily.
“I expected the match to be a much better one. I know he has the experience of coming back after losing the first game. That’s why after winning the first game I still wanted to maintain the tempo in the second game. I played well, my attacking was going perfectly, I am really happy with the way that it went on,” he added.
Srikanth will now travel to Paris for the French Open Super Series which begins on Tuesday. But the Indian, who won back-to-back titles in two consecutive weeks, said that it will not be easy for him to repeat the performance in Paris. “I am not really thinking of winning in Paris now. It’s really tough after winning a title, following tournaments are very tough. I really want to start off well, win the first round match first. That’s more important for me now,” Srikanth said
“It may have seemed easy, but Lee is a very tricky opponent and has a great reputation for coming back. It is to the credit of Srikanth that he used the weaknesses in his opponent and did not get complacent and kept his focus on winning points” coach Pullela Gopichand told after the match. “At end of game 1, I told him: He can come back, so put your head down and finish him. Take no prisoners.”
The 24-year-old, who shot into limelight after stunning the legendary Lin Dan for the China Open title in 2014, lost crucial months of his career due to nagging injuries.
After a string of early round losses Srikanth strike form by reaching the Singapore Open final in April before two titles in June.
The 37-year-old Korean proved no match for the rampaging Indian. The lopsided contest resembled a first round contest between a top seed and a qualifier. Srikanth hardly broke any sweat as he thrashed the Korean in just 25 minutes.
Lee, who beat world No. 2 Won Han Son in a one hour 32-minute encounter on Saturday, ran out of gas in the final. Moving heavily on court, the veteran hardly tried to be in the contest.
Within five minutes Srikanth secured a four-point lead at 9-5 in the first game. Hitting the lines consistently and troubling the Korean at the net, Srikanth got easy points.
In the second game Srikanth went into the break with a 10-point lead at 11-1. He lost that one point by his own mistake when he served the shuttle into the net. Thereafter, he eased to victory with a huge margin.
In a nail-biting women’s singles final Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand dethroned Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 14-21, 21-15, 21-19. The former world champion ended her 18-month title drought with this hard-fought victory. Ratchanok was trailing 16-19 in the decider before she came up with five straight points to stun Yamaguchi.
Results of all Finals played by him –
Men’s singles: K Srikanth (Ind) bt Lee Hyun Il (Korea) 21-10, 21-5.
Women’s singles: Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt 4-Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) 14-21, 21-15, 21-19.
Women’s doubles: Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan (Kor) bt 6-Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto (Jpn) 21-13, 21-16.
Mixed doubles: 8-Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) bt 1-Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen 24-22, 19-21, 23-21.