Srikanth lords it over Indonesia Open

Srikanth lords it over Indonesia Open

THE HANS INDIA |   Jun 19,2017 , 02:16 AM IST

Srikanth Kidambi (right) and Japan's Kazumasa Sakai show their trophies after the men singles final at Indonesia Open badminton championship in Jakarta on Sunday
Srikanth Kidambi (right) and Japan's Kazumasa Sakai show their trophies after the men singles final at Indonesia Open badminton championship in Jakarta on Sunday
Srikanth Kidambi (right) and Japan's Kazumasa Sakai show their trophies after the men singles final at Indonesia Open badminton championship in Jakarta on Sunday

Jakarta:  Kidambi Srikanth clinched his third Super Series title, lifting the Indonesia Open men's singles trophy with a straight-game victory over Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai in the final here on Sunday.

World No 22 Srikanth, who had reached the final at Singapore Open in April, outclassed 47-ranked Sakai, 21-11, 21-19 in just 37 minutes to take home a cheque of $75,000.

"He was playing well, especially in the second game and I think for me coming back from 6-11 down and make it 13-13 was the turning point," said Srikanth, who had clinched the 2014 China Super Series Premier and 2015 India Super Series.

"My coach will have a special place in my heart as after he came, I reached the finals at Singapore and to win this tournament, which is considered the biggest tournament. I want to thank all the fans who have been rooting for me all this week," he added.

Srikanth played a patient game and didn't allow his opponent to engage in any fast-paced rally. He dictated the pace with his precise angled returns and unleashed his smashes at perfect intervals to down his rival.

Playing in tricky windy conditions, Srikanth took time to gauge the conditions as his initial returns went wide and out.
But his rival also suffered because of similar unforced errors and the Indian led 6-4 early on. He consolidated his lead to reach 11-8 at the break.

After the interval, Srikanth continued to dominate the proceedings. His net dribbles were better than Sakai and with Sakai struggling with precision, the Indian zoomed to a 19-11 lead and sealed it with two lucky net chord points.
After the change of sides, Sakai was more aggressive in his approach and produced an improved net game to dominate the rallies.