Kidambi Srikanth clinched his fourth Super Series title with an incredible straight-game triumph over reigning Olympic and world champion Chen Long in the Australian Open final in Sydney today. The world no.11 Srikanth won 22-20, 21-16 in a 45-minute clash against the world no. 6 Chinese, who is also a two-time All England champion.
The triumph is his second successive after clinching the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier title last week. Entering the summit showdown, Srikanth was only the fifth player in the world to contest three successive Super Series finals (Singapore and Indonesia prior to this).
The Indian, a semi-finalist in the last edition of the tournament, was the one to grab the early lead. The Chinese shifted gears quite suddenly to add pace to the proceedings and his baseline strokes stood out for both ferocity and accuracy.
But Srikanth did not let the momentum slip and earned his first game point at 20-19. Long managed to save that but Srikanth’s perseverance fetched him another at 21-20. This time, Srikanth made no mistake and sealed the first game in 23 minutes.
The second game began with an engaging baseline rally and the see-saw battle continued for a while. However, Srikanth seemed determined to end his winless streak against his fancied rival and led 11-9 at the lemon break of the second game.
Srikanth did not let the lead slip from that point, raising his game by quite a few notches against an increasingly faltering Long. It took Srikanth a minute less than the first game to wrap up a rather comfortable victory.