New Delhi: The No. 2 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark came out on absolute fire in the India Open final on Sunday, reeling off 12 consecutive points in the first set to break No. 3 seed Kidambi Srikanth of India 21-7 in the first game in just 11 minutes.
Kidambi Srikanth who won in the 2015 edition by beating Axelsen in the final, tightened up his game a little bit in the second set, playing some beautiful net shots and was already on the verge of forcing a decider with a 20-18 lead.
However, it was at 18-20 that Axelsen’s aggressive plays started to pay off as the Dane killed a short return from Srikanth to make it 20-20. At 21-20, Axelsen finished a long rally with a forehand cross-court smash and then broke into celebration.
“It’s excited to win the tournament especially Srikanth defeated me in Denmark last time. It was nice of him to let me win here, maybe next time I could win in Denmark and he could win in India,” said Axelsen jokingly.
“We know each other so well and it’s the small things that make the difference. So you never know what would have happened if Srikanth had won the second game,” added Axelsen.
Meanwhile, the World No. 7 Kidambi Srikanth couldn’t hide his disappointment with his India Open runner-up achievement.
“I gave him too many easy shots for attack in the first set. I did fairly well in the second, and maybe, if there would have been a decider, I would have had better chances,” said Srikanth.
Men singles: Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt K. Srikanth 21-7, 22-20.
Women singles: Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt He Bingjiao (Chn) 21-15, 21-14.
Men doubles: Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin (Tpe) bt Rickey Karandasuwardi and Angga Pratama 21-14, 21-14.
Women doubles: Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu (Ina) bt Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean (Mal) 21-11, 25-23.
Mixed doubles: Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping (Chn) bt Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti (Ina) 21-13, 21-11.