Badminton

Kidambi Srikanth hopes ‘much-needed’ Indonesia win boosts World Championship chances

With this win, Srikanth became the first Indian shuttler to win a Grand Prix gold, a Super Series and a Super Series Premier title.

Kidambi Srikanth, who won the Indonesia Superseries Premier on Sunday, said the title win is a much-needed boost for him. The 24-year-old overcame Kazumasa Sakai 21-11, 21-19 in just 37 minutes to take home the trophy. This was his second consecutive final, after the Singapore Open in April, where he lost to compatriot B Sai Praneeth.

“It is a much needed win for me. After losing the finals at Singapore Open, to reach another final here was a good thing for me. It has been a while since I won a Superseries tournament,” he told PTI after the win.

With this win, Srikanth became the first Indian shuttler to win all three titles – Grand Prix gold, Super Series and Super Series Premier.

“I think it was a fantastic game for me. I started off really well in the first game but he was playing well in the second game, leading 11-6 at the break and fighting it out. But overall, I think my game was going great, my attack was going well for me,” he added.

Talking about his final opponent, Srikanth said, “Sakai played really well. He has been playing from the qualifying and he understands the conditions really well. His smash is fast and powerful and he is very fit. It was a tricky game for sure and I am happy I could win,” Srikanth said.

The 24-year-old hopes more success would come his way as he gears up for Australia Open next week ahead of the World Championship in August.

“I am playing Australian Open next week. It is the last tournament before the World Championship. I am looking forward to that. It is a big confidence booster for me ahead of the World Championship. I would give my 100%. I hope there is a lot more to come,” he said.

Srikanth, who had a long injury lay-off after the Rio Olympics, said it was tough to come out from the injury. “I was out of badminton for sometime after the Olympics, it was the longest time that I have been out ever since I started playing, so that phase kept motivating me. It was tough to come out of that injury phase and so I am really happy with this win,” he said.

“It was my first Olympics and playing Lin Dan was one of the biggest matches of my career and I was under pressure. I don’t know if I am in a better position now but I know no match can push me to that limit. That match gave me a lot of positives,” he revealed.

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