India's Srikanth into badminton's Australian Open semis


Indian shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth stood against each other in the quarter final of the Australian Open Super Series. Entering the summit showdown, Srikanth was only the fifth player in the world to contest three successive Super Series finals (Singapore and Indonesia prior to this).

Srikanth brushed aside Olympic champion Chen Long 22-20, 21-16 to clinch the Australian Open in Sydney. "Not only the win, but the way Srikanth won it and the players whom he beat to win back-to-back Super Series titles is something that is really satisfying". "He [Srikanth] is looking a lot more mature now and I am very happy to see the way he is playing", Gopichand told International Business Times, India. In the early minutes of the match, Srikanth won his first point with a 28-shot rally with a delicate half smash to level at 1-1.

Okuhara won her first World Superseries title since the All England a year ago, displaying the full extent of her indefatigable retrieving style in getting the better of Yamaguchi.

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Srikanth got better of qualifier Kan Chao Yu followed by World no. 1 Son Wan Ho and Praneeth respectively. "It's an overwhelming moment for us", said Srikanth's father, Kidambi Krishna. I had just chose to play my normal game. As he lifted the Australian Open title, Srikanth became the first Indian man to win the championship.

This was Kidambi's second win against the reigning Olympic Champion. "Last week I lost to her but I want to challenge her tomorrow". Chen then hit a service error to give Srikanth his first match point opportunity and he converted it soon after as Chen hit a return long to win the match and his second Superseries final in two weeks. PM Narendra Modi has already congratulated him but he is now leading an inspiration for many men in Badminton.

"After the Rio Olympics I had an injury and was a bit nervous".

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It took Srikanth a minute less than the first game to wrap up a rather comfortable victory.

What broke Long's back was the long rally at the start of the second set where an upbeat Srikanth calmed himself, slowing down time in high toss-exchanges, and ended with a suddenly sped-up smash kill.

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