Sydney: Kidambi Srikanth of India and Chen Long of China met in the final of the Australian Open on Sunday — one of the biggest events of the season and one month after Srikanth lost to Chen 16-21, 17-21 in the Sudirman Cup quarter-final tie between China and India in Gold Coast, Australia. However, Srikanth seemingly had completed a 360-degree turn in fortune this time, as he was simply magnificent by beating Chen in straight set to win the Australian Superseries.
Srikanth’s court coverage was outstanding as both shuttlers tried to force other to run all over the court, and the Indian’s mesmerizing cross-court smashes helped him take an 11-9 lead at the interval of the first set. Despite the tough challenge from Chen, Srikanth was able to hold his nerve to close out the first set 22-20.
The second set was a see-saw battle as Chen shifted gears to become more aggressive. However, Srikanth managed to smash his way to lead at 6-3. The Indian was determined to not let the victory slip through his fingers to lead 11-9 at the interval.
Unlike the first game where Srikanth allowed Chen to claw back into the match, this time, the Indian shuttler simply would not relent, wiped Chen Long away with a 19-15, and clinched the match and the title at 21-16. The victory was a jinx-breaker for Srikanth, who had lost to Chen in all his five previous meetings.
India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also congratulated Srikanth on Sunday as Modi tweeted, “We are really proud of the victory of @srikidambi in the Australian Open. I congratulate him for yet another wonderful win.”