New Delhi: Kidambi Srikanth continued his rampaging form as he completely outclassed Japanese Kenta Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13 to clinch the French Open Super Series Premier title on Sunday.
This is Srikanth’s fourth Super Series title of the year (sixth overall) and by doing so, Srikanth joins the likes of Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan and Chen long to become only the fourth player in the history of the game to win four super series titles in one year.
Srikanth came into this match by registering a comeback win over compatriot HS Prannoy in the semis and the highest ranked Indian brought that form into the final as well. Srikanth thumped Nishimoto in straight games in just 35 minutes to etch his name into the history books.
The first game started evenly with both players matching each other shot for shot and at one point, the score read 5-5. But then, rather uncharacteristically, Srikanth hit a few unforced errors and that gave Nshimoto an 8-5 lead in the first game.
But after that, Srikanth took charge of his game and won six consecutive points to go into the break with a lead of 11-9. At this point, Srikanth’s smashes were ruling the roost.
The pressure was now on Nishimoto and that started to show as he hit few unforced errors and that gave Srikanth 16-12 lead in the game. The Indian star then won three points in a row to further illustrate his supreme form in this match.
Nishimoto tried to stage a fightback by winning couple of points but it wasn’t to be for the Japanese as Srikanth wrapped up the first game 21-14 in just 16 minutes.
The second game started in the same vein as it ended in the first — with Srikanth on the front foot. The top-ranked Indian raced away to a 4-0 lead in the early stages of the second game. Srikanth was now in full flow and he was brilliantly mixing up his drop shots with occasional smashes.
The pressure was telling on the Japanese and he hit few shots over the baseline as Srikanth went into the break with a healthy lead of 11-5 in his kitty. Following the break, Nishitomo issued a brief comeback as he won three consecutive points to take the attack to the Indian.
But Srikanth wasn’t having any of it as he snatched back the momentum by hitting couple of cross court smashes to lead 15-8. In the end, the task of cutting down Srikanth’s lead proved too much for the Japanese as he succumbed to a 13-21 loss in the second game.
And by doing so, Srikanth won his second super series title in as many weeks and sixth overall of his illustrious career.