Kidambi Srikanth continued his outstanding form forward as he defeated Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent on Saturday in the Denmark Open Super Series to storm in the finale of the tournament.
He played majestically to secure a 21-18, 21-17 victory and would now play Korea’s Lee Hyun Il for the summit clash. Earlier, the Indian shuttler had stunned World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.
Srikanth stands one step away from his third Super Series Premier title. The 25-year-old Indian, who clinched the Indonesia Open and Australian Open this year besides reaching the final of the Singapore Open, defeated Wong 21-18 21-17 at the Odense Sports Park.
“I feel great. I really wanted to do well. Our game is similar but I was more patient and though I made some errors initially I learnt quickly. Next is Lee whom I have not played and I think he will be a tricky player to beat,” Srikanth said.
Srikanth and Wong split the initial six points before the Indian moved ahead with his rival struggling with the length of his shots. He eventually had a healthy 11-6 lead after dominating a net exchange.
Wong made it 10-13 after the interval but Srikanth showed better anticipation to lead 15-10. A body smash helped Wong to make it 12-15 and then 15-18 but Srikanth didn’t lose his patience and managed to control the rallies.
Srikanth went into game point when Wong’s return got buried in the net. Srikanth himself made a net error before pushing the shuttle to the back of the court as an out of position Wong sent it sailing wide.
In the second game, Srikanth zoomed to a 4-0 lead but a few unforced errors at the net helped Wong to make it 3-4 in his favour. He then unleashed a smash to claw back.
The Indian again surged to 7-5 lead when Wong served out.Srikanth, who won the China Open Super Series Premier in 2014, showed great athleticism when he dived and then smashed to grab a point to make it 8-6. However, Wong managed to surpass the Indian and pocket a 11-9 lead at the break.
Srikanth Kidambi wins by 21-18, 21-17 to enter Denmark Open final #DenmarkOpenSS— ANI (@ANI) October 21, 2017
After the lemon break, Srikanth, who had won the Indian Open Super Series in 2015, reeled off three straight points to turn the tables and lead 14-12 with Wong committing two unforced errors.A jump cross court smash took Srikanth to 16-15 and he then capitalised on it, extending the advantage to 18-15.
A net error from Wong gave him another point but the Indian hit wide. He then pushed the shuttle to the back to grab three match points and converted it after winning a long rally.
Earlier, 37-year-old Lee Hyun Il of Korea, who plays as a professional, seemed to have turned back the clock as he conquered his younger compatriot and World No. 2 Son Wan Ho 25-23 18-21 21-17 in the other men’s singles semifinal that lasted an hour and 31 minutes.
In women’s singles, Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon avenged her loss to Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying with a 21-14 20-22 21-14 win over the World No. 1 to reach her second Super Series Premier final in 2017.
She had lost to Tai Tzu at the final of All England Championship, second round of Australian Open and Dubai World Super Series Final last year.
Ratchanok will face Akane Yamaguchi, who defeated World No. 10 Chen Yufei of China 10-21 21-18 21-19. The mixed doubles pair of Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong also reached their maiden final with a 21-16 21-18 win over third-seeded Indonesian combo of Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir.
After Viktor Axelsen’s exit on Friday, the Danish challenge ended on Saturday after celebrated men’s doubles pair of Mathias Boeand Carsten Mogensen lost 18-21 21-18 13-21 to fifth seeded Chinese pair of Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan.
With PTI inputs