French Open | Kidambi Srikanth beats Kenta Nishimoto to secure his fourth Superseries title in 2017

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French Open | Kidambi Srikanth beats Kenta Nishimoto to secure his fourth Superseries title in 2017

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SportsCafe Desk


Kidambi Srikanth continued his magnificent run of form at the Superseries events and defeated Japan's Kenta Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13 in the French Open final to became the first Indian player to win four Superseries titles in a year. He also became the first Indian to win the French Open.

In the second head-to-head encounter at a Superseries event, Srikanth drew first blood, but the Japanese matched him toe-to-toe and levelled the game at 5-5 before winning the next four points on offer to take the lead at 9-5. But the Indian instantly made a stunning comeback through six consecutive points to lead with two points at the changeover. Srikanth increased the pace of play after that and the Japanese was forced to play a more defensive brand of badminton, which didn't help his cause at all. The Guntur-lad basically used his down-the-line smash to great effect to put the Qualifier in trouble. Srikanth was equally brilliant with his touch play at the net and led 19-12 before winning the opening game comfortably.

Nishimoto, who is being touted as the “giant killer” for his ability to take down big players on his day, couldn’t really pose a challenge in the second game either and it seemed to be one-way traffic completely. Srikanth was winning points with effortless ease and at one point in time, led 10-3. Although the Japanese tried to put forward an occasional burst after the mid-game interval, the fatigue of playing his seventh match in just six days caught up with him and Srikanth, who was playing with a strapping below his right knee, took the benefit of that. With a trademark down-the-line smash, the Indian put an end to the one-sided 35-minute contest to become only the fourth player after Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, and Chen Long to win four or more men's singles Superseries titles in a calendar year.

Srikanth has become the only Indian to win the French Open since it became a Superseries event in 2007 and in all probability, will also rise to a career-best World No.2 in the world rankings that is supposed to come out on Thursday.

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