Kidambi Srikanth celebrates Father’s Day with Indonesia Open title

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Kidambi Srikanth and Kazumasa Sakai share podium after the Indonesia Open men's singles final. (photo: AP)
Kidambi Srikanth and Kazumasa Sakai share podium after the Indonesia Open men's singles final. (photo: AP)

Jakarta: India’s World No. 22 Kidambi Srikanth easily claimed his first ever Indonesia Open title in Jakarta on Sunday and celebrated Father’s Day by dedicating his first Super Series title victory since winning the 2015 India Open to his dad K.V.S. Krishna.

“Among the three Super Series titles I’ve won so far (2014 China Open, 2015 India Open, 2017 Indonesia Open), the is especially special simply because it had come on Father’s Day. My father is a great inspiration to me, he guided me all the way until today to win this tournament,” said Srikanth to Indian media.

Srikanth got off to a strong start in the first game against Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai. The Indian player stretched his lead quickly to 19-9 and took the first set 21-11 as Sakai let nerves get the better of him.

Playing in the tricky and windy stadium, Srikanth was patient and didn’t allow Sakai to engage in any fast-paced rally in the second set. He controlled the pace with his precise angled returns and unleashed his smashes at perfect intervals to beat the Japanese player 21-19 in the second game to bring home a check of $75,000 USD.

He also gave credit to his coach Indonesia’s Mulyo Handoyo (trained Taufik Hidayat to win the 2004 Olympic gold) for playing a vital role in resurrecting his career.

“I must say a lot of credit for my recent performances should go to my Indonesian coach Mulyo Handoyo. After Handoyo joined us, I have been really doing well such as advanced to the Singapore final, especially given the fact that I was coming back after an injury,” said the 24-year-old Srikanth.

In men’s doubles, China’s No. 3 seeds Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen won the final against No. 2 seeds Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark by 21-13, 17-21, 21-14 in 71 minutes.

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