Kolkata: Kidambi Srikanth has undoubtedly taken Indian badminton to an all new level after he outclassed World no. 47 Kazumasa Sakai 21-11 and 21-19, in the final of the Indonesia Open Super Series in Jakarta on Sunday.
En route to this big stage, he had beaten World no. 1 Son Wan-Ho in the semis on Saturday. On Sunday, he proved to the world that his win was no fluke as he went to clinch his first Indonesia Open Title and third overall, after his Super Series Title after the 2014 China Open and the 2015 India Open victories.
At the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), the player from Guntur displayed some fine skills and aggression to beat the Japanese in straight games to script his name in history.
The first game saw Srikanth ease past the Japanese, as he cleverly used the net to his advantage which helped him to attack. But the second game was more of an even contest as Sakai was able to predict Srikanth’s shots and made a fight back to gain a 11-6 lead going into the break.
Srikanth, however wasn’t going to let this game slip away from him and he made a comeback of his own to make the scoreline 13-13. Some really tough competition followed from here on, as both of them were fighting hard and strong for every point.
Sakai got a 19-18 lead but some attacking shots troubled the Japanese and brought about his downfall as Srikanth went on to win three straight points to win the game and the match. Courtesy this win, he also became the first Indian male to win the Indonesia Open Super Series.
Said Srikanth after the win, ” 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.”
He remembered his coach after this historic victory and thanked all the fans who had supported him.
“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 to tournament. I want to thank all the fans who have been rooting for me all this week,” he further added.
With this win, Srikanth is set to leap to No.2 from the 14th rank in the Dubai Destination Rankings. Also, Srikanth, who was world no.22 would now jump to a career high ranking of no.2 after the next BWF rankings are released.
This win would undoubtedly boost the confidence of Indian sports lovers who would look forward to the Indian cricket team and the Indian hockey team replicate Srikanth’s success.