Kidambi Srikanth creates history by reaching final of Australian Open

PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu

Kidambi Srikanth entered the $750,000 Australian Open men's singles final easily, making short work of Chinese fourth seed Shi Yuqi in straight games in Sydney on Saturday.

With this win, Srikanth became the first Indian male badminton player to reach three back-to-back Superseries finals.

Srikanth won the Indonesia Super Series Premier title last week in Jakarta.

This was the second time that Srikanth, ranked 11th, came face to face with World No.4 Shi Yuqi. He capitalised on the spaces that he opened up by playing a lot of crosscourt drops and half smashes. The duo had clashed in the quarterfinals of the Singapore Open earlier this year with the Indian reigning supreme in the match. "I was in control at the net".

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This has been the best performance from Srikanth this year. He soon took advantage of the lead, scoring two quick points to win the game 21-10 in 15 minutes.

In the first game, the Shi Yuqi managed to stay in touch with Srikanth at 4-4 but it was one-way traffic from the there as Srikanth opened a big 16-10 lead, and then wrapped up the game with reeling off five consecutive points.

Elsewhere, China's Shi Yuqi defeated defending champion Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in straight games and set up an exciting semi-final clash with Srikanth on Friday. But it was Srikanth's brilliant net play which helped him to move to 7-6 with a backhand smash.

Continuing to display dominant form, Srikanth controlled the game, taking a six-point lead through his powerful play and crosscourt smashes at 14-8. After being down for a few seconds however, Srikanth got up and breezed his way into the final, fittingly with a smash.