Despite being ill upon arriving in Sydney, Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has overcome all the odds to defeat some of the toughest opponents and be crowned the Australian Open Super Series champion. "It is special for sure coming up against someone like Chen who has been playing so well in this championship", Srikanth told Sportstar after the straight-games victory.
The Badminton Association of India has announced a reward of Rs. 5 lakhs for Kidambi Srikath, after his Australian Open win on Sunday.
Another former India cricketer Virender Sehwag also extended his best wishes as he wrote, "Congratulations @srikidambi on beating reigning Olympic & World Champion Chen Long & winning a 4th Superseries title".
The 24-year-old Srikanth extended his stellar run of form to become the first Indian male shuttler to win two consecutive Superseries title. Unlike the first game where Long launched a comeback, here Srikanth was in no mood to relent, opening a five-point lead at 19-15.
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Though Srikanth has beaten top players of the world once in a while in the past, the Guntur-born is now making it a regular habit. A few errors crept into both player's games which meant that no one was able to take a healthy lead. "But after winning the first game, I think the whole momentum shifted towards me", he said about his first game win. It not only lifted him in the BWF rankings by 11 spots and put him at the 11 position, it also helped him climb 12 places to be second in the World Superseries Destination Dubai Rankings.
"In all the breaks today I had the advantage, (coach) Mulyo told me to keep it going, not to make simple mistakes and allow him back into the match".
"There was a long rally early in the second game and after I won that I got more confident".
Srikanth secured a total of 9200 points after emerging as the victor which will take his tally to 34260 points.