India's Kidambi Srikanth stunned reigning Olympic champion Chen Long 22-20, 21-16 in straight games to win the Men's singles title of Australian Open badminton 2017 in Sydney on Sunday, June 25. The win also made sure the 24-year-old won his second straight Superseries title after his Indonesia Open glory last week.
Srikanth started the big final on a high, racing to to a 6-4 lead in the first game and went into the mid-game interval with a two-point advantage. The intention was clear from the word go as the Indian shuttler kept attacking with his trademark jump smashes.
However, Chen kept the pressure on Srikanth, playing defensive shots towards the mid-court and cramping the world number 11 for room. A defensive masterclass from the Chinese shuttler saw him score four straight points from 15-17.
Srikanth though held his nerves and his confidence was evident when he played a cross-court defensive shot to go 21-20 up, before he won the match point. In the second game, it was one-way traffic as the Indian shuttler stepped on the gas, to which Chen had no answers. Contrary to expectations, Srikanth won the match in straight games in just 46 minutes and clearly looked the better shuttler on court.
Massive congrats @srikidambi back to back titles, not many players have done that ????????. Jai hind— Mathias Boe (@mathiasboe) June 25, 2017
Looks like it's getting tough for everyone to Clinch titles when Indian boys are in form!! Congrats @srikidambi ???— PRANNOY HS (@PRANNOYHSPRI) June 25, 2017
Even before he stepped on court on Sunday, Srikanth had created history by becoming the first man since Lee Chong Wei in 2015 and only fifth overall to reach three consecutive Superseries finals. The final in Sydney was Srikanth's fifth Superseries title match appearance and he has won four of them.
With a runner-up finish in Singapore, titles wins in Indonesia and Australia, the former China Open champion will be high on confidence as he heads into BWF World Championships later in August.
The win will also see him break into the top-10 of BWF rankings after a six-month absence. Notably, the Guntur shuttler has beaten the likes of top-ranked shuttlers Son Wan Ho, Shi Yuqi and Chen in what has been a dream run over the last few months.