Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
Research | By Francis Brooks

Kidambi Srikanth breezes past Shi Yuqi to enter final

Kidambi Srikanth breezes past Shi Yuqi to enter final

In what can be called one of his most dominant wins, India's Kidambi Srikanth extended his fine form in the Australian Open Super Series by reaching the final of the event with a resounding 21-10, 21-14 win over fourth-seeded Shi Yuqi of China.

All eyes, usually, are on PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal when it comes to Indian badminton, but Srikanth, with his own head-turning displays, is slowly changing that trend. This will be the third straight Super Series final for Srikanth, who had only last week secured the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier title.

Srikanth will now either play reigning Olympic champion or two-time World champion and All England champion Chen Long or Korea's Lee Hyun II in the finals.

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Generally known for his attacking gameplay, Srikanth surprised the world No.4 with his patience and lovely net play. Srikanth had earlier beaten the Chinese at the quarters of the Singapore Open in April. "I was in control at the net".

Shi did keep up with the Indian's quickness and attack and showed good defensive shots but Srikanth took a comfortable 11-8 lead at halfway break. The two shuttlers battled neck and neck till 7-7 before a three-point burst saw the Indian take the lead at 10-7. But it was Srikanth's brilliant net play which helped him to move to 7-6 with a backhand smash.

Tai stayed level through the first game but Yamaguchi got lucky on her first game point - the shuttle catching the tape and tumbling into Tai's court - and the Japanese consolidated her lead with solid play in the second. Shi scored three consecutive points thereafter, using his speed to his advantage. "I played him twice this year, I lost 21-19 or so", he said. He then converted his second opportunity with a thumping crosscourt smash to book a place in the final.

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