Korea’s Lee Hyun Il was no match for India’s fluent Kidambi Srikanth as the 24-year-old lifted the title in one of the most one-sided final ever, which saw him ending things 21-10, 21-5 in just 25 minutes. The $750,000 Denmark Open win also marks the third Superseries Premier title of his career.
Lee had definitely surprised all when he won against World No. 2 Son Wan Ho in the semi-final, but the strenuous one-hour 32-minute encounter proved too much for the 37-year-old on Monday. He moved across the court heavily and Srikanth hardly had to break any sweat in overcoming the final challenge.
The Indian was at it right from the very beginning and secured a four-point lead at 9-5 within the first five minutes of the game. Earlier Srikanth’s coach Pullela Gopichand had termed Lee as a textbook of badminton, but the tired legs could hardly move to perfection and Srikanth consistently hitting the lines and visibly troubled Lee at the net.
Approaching lemon-time with a comfortable 11-6 advantage, Srikanth went on to capitalize his lead to 13-7 and 20-8, before he wrapped up the opening game for the loss of two more points. Srikanth’s clever change of pace and angle in his serves demanded Lee to be at his physical best but the continuous stretching from side to side left little alternative for the unseeded Korean.
In the second game, Srikanth went into the break with a 10-point lead at 11-1 with the result inevitable. Even the point that he lost was by his own mistake when he served the shuttle into the net. Thereafter, he eased to victory with a huge margin ending the game 21-5.
The rampaging win took just 25 minutes as Srikanth became only the second Indian male player, after Prakash Padukone in 1980, to win the coveted Denmark Open singles title. This year has been a brilliant one for the Andhra player who has already won the Indonesia Super Series Premier and the Australia Open Super Series and now takes home a prize money of Rs 36.61 lakh.
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