Badminton

Shocked to reach back-to-back finals, says Kidambi Srikanth

‘Coming into the tournament, I never thought really that I will reach the finals again,’ the world no 22 said.

Close on the heels of Singapore Open final, Kidambi Srikanth made his way to yet another summit clash at Indonesia Super Series Premier, and the Indian ace says he is shocked to achieve the feat and it will take some time to sink in, reported PTI.

Srikanth defeated World No. 1 Son Wan Ho of Korea 21-15 14-21 24-22 to set up a clash with Kazumasa Sakai of Japan, who defeated another Indian shuttler, HS Prannoy.

“Coming into the tournament, I never thought really that I will reach the finals again. I am shocked to be playing back to back finals. It will take a while to digest it and then prepare for tomorrow [Sunday],” Srikanth said.

Talking about today’s match, Srikanth said: “It was a tough match and I was prepared for a long match. Whenever I play him, it is always a long match and he has been playing well of late. He is the world No 1 now and you have to give him respect.

“I won a lot of points and also lost points when my smashes went out but that’s the way I play, it is my main scoring option. It was very close match. I was lucky there in the last point. It was a nice game. I am proud.

“I was in comfortable position in the second game also but conditions changed and I lost track. I made simple mistakes and it changed the complexion of the second game but I am very happy to make a comeback in the third game,” he explained.

Asked about Sakai, Srikanth said: “He has been playing very well, he has beaten some of the top players and had a really good run from the qualifiers. I really didn’t think about the finals but now that I have won, I will go back and think about it.

“I think I really had a bad injury after the Olympics. I pushed really hard when I came back and I shouldn’t have done that. It was tough. Losing at India Open was a big thing, I pulled out of Malaysia and that one week training helped me to play well at Singapore.

“I want to thank my coaches. Mulyo (Handoyo) has been doing a great job. They changed the whole schedule and it is really helping us.”

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