Indonesia Open 2017 | Kidambi Srikanth beats Son Wan Ho in thriller to enter final

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Indonesia Open 2017 | Kidambi Srikanth beats Son Wan Ho in thriller to enter final

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SportsCafe Desk

06/17/2017

Kidambi Srikanth has defeated South Korean star Son Wan Ho 21-15, 14-21, 25-23 to book a spot in the final of Indonesia Open. In a closely fought game, Srikanth had to show nerves of steel as he saved a match point in the third before some quick reflexes secured the win for the Indian.

India’s Kidambi Srikanth took on second seed Korean, Son Wan Ho, in the semi-final of the Indonesia Open. Srikanth won the first point but his opponent levelled the game up at it to 3-3 in no time. The Indian shuttler took the lead again as he won three of the next four points but unforced errors let the Korean back into the game. Both the players tried to put pressure on each other but it was the Indian who succeeded winning five straight points to take the score to 12-6. After 23 shot rally, it was the Korean’s turn to launch a fight back as he won five consecutive points to bring the score to within two points. But Srikanth kept his lead intact by winning another three quick points to take an 18-12 lead. Son tried to fight back but the Indian was proving to be too strong as Srikanth rounded up the first game by a comfortable score 21-15.

In the second game, Srikanth took an early 3-1 lead as the 24-year-old showed his confidence through his powerful shots. Son Wan Ho, who initially trailed by a score of 2-6 slowly found a foothold in the game winning the next three points. But the Indian grabbed the next two points and to take the score to 8-5. But it was the Korean who fought back this time and levelled the match at 10-10. After the mini interval, Srikanth took the early initiative and the lead at 13-10 but Son was not ready to give up just yet. The South Korean won an incredible seven back-to-back points to take a 17-13 lead in the game. From that point on, there was only ever going to be one winner as the World No. 1 closed out the second game 21-14 to make the final berth a one off game.

Son started the decider with a brilliant smash down the line before misjudging a Srikanth return on the very next point. Son took a lead of two points but an exceptional run by Srikanth, that saw the Indian win three back to back points with smashes and drop shots alike, got the Indian an early lead.  With a place in the finals up for grabs, errors started creeping into the duo’s game as both players were struggling to build up any sort of an advantage and at the midway point of the game, it was the World No.1 who took the slender 11-10 lead. Son covered the court pretty well and with the help of the attacking smash, and unforced error by Srikanth, he got the early lead. However, keeping with the trend of the game, Srikanth fought back and when Son hit a drive, on a 31-shot rally, the latter’s lead was cut to just a point. The duo continued to battle and with another 24-shot rally going the World no. 1’s way, the Indian’s frustration was evident as the scoreboard read 15-15. The Korean was trying to drag the Indian into long rallies while Srikanth was trying to go for the kill as soon as he got the chance, which resulted in the duo exchanging points to take the score to 19-19. Srikanth had a great chance to earn a match point opportunity but the Indian’s smash came off the frame of his racquet as the Korean took the lead. Not only did the 24-year-old save the match, he earned himself a match point as well but the Korean was up for the challenge. However, Srikanth would not be denied as he booked himself a place in the final after picking up the 48th point of the game to close out the game 25-23.

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