Kidambi Srikanth joins the big league after Australian Open glory

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Indian shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth stood against each other in the quarter final of the Australian Open Super Series. With this win, he became the sixth player in the world and the first Indian male badminton player to play in three consecutive Super Series finals.

Srikanth won in straight games 22-20, 21-16 to win his career's fourth Super Series title.

A former World No.3, Srikanth, who had reached the semifinals in the last edition, produced yet another near- flawless performance to outclass All England finalist Shi 21-10 21-14 in a 37-minute match to notch up his second win over the Chinese.

Superseries refers to the 12 elite tournaments held under the aegis of Badminton World Federation every year, starting with the All England championships in March, followed by those in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Korea, Japan, Denmark, France and China.

This was Srikanth's third successive and fifth Superseries final overall.

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"I'm playing better after the Sudirman Cup".

Pumped up after the first game, Srikanth approached the second game with confidence. It did not matter to Srikanth that he was pitted against a genius like the Chinese Lin Dan, a world champion multiple times, in the final.

On his part, Srikanth kept his errors in check, never really allowing adrenaline to get the better of him, staying patient in the long rallies. "Practicing with Mulyo, his training techniques have made a real difference", said Srikanth. The Badminton Association of India, following the stupendous win, announced a cash award of Rs. 5 lakh to Srikanth.

The opening game was tight with long rallies but Srikanth was patient. PM Narendra Modi has already congratulated him but he is now leading an inspiration for many men in Badminton. Srikanth, however, made the most of the opportunity on both occasions. However, the reigning Olympic champion was not the one to go down without a fight as he tied back the game up at 6-all. At 16-13, Srikanth scored one victor after the other, executing his superior backhand to perefection to take a lead at 19-16.

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