Sydney, June 26: India’s sensational shuttler Kidambi Srikanth on Sunday registered a comprehensive win over Olympic champion Chen Long 22-20, 21-16 to clinch the Australian Open in Sydney. Notably, Srikanth won in straight games 22-20, 21-16 to win his career's fourth Super Series title.
This is world no 11 Srikanth's second straight title victory in a week after he won the Indonesian Open Super Series Premier last Sunday. Srikanth opened the game steadily and later cruised towards quick points. The opening game was an evenly contested affair with the two opponents exchanging the lead on each interval and Srikanth took 11-9 lead at the break.
After the resumption, Long crawled back with three straight points to take lead at 12-11. The game went down the wire with the Chinese saving a game point with a cross court smash but the 24-year-old Indian eventually prevailed to win it 22-20 and take 1-0 lead in 23 minutes.
But Srikanth raced to a 6-2 lead over the current All England Champion and in a similar fashion to the opening game, took an 11-9 lead at the short break. Srikanth opening a five-point lead and rushed to 19-15. And then finally Srikanth sealed the game and the title at 21-16 to win the singles title.
Srikanth had reached the final of the Singapore Open in April and Indonesia Open before this tournament and has thus become only the fifth player in the world and the first Indian male shuttler to contest three consecutive Super Series finals.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sports Minister Vijay Goel and many other ministers congratulated Srikanth for winning the Australian Open title and making India proud. Meanwhile, noted industrialist and diversified business conglomerate Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindra on Sunday said he would "personally" hand over a TUV300 to shuttler Kidambi Srikanth for winning the Australian Open Super Series title. Also, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and a host of celebrities congratulated Kidambi Srikanth.