Kidambi Srikanth succumbed to a 21-7, 22-20 loss to former world number one Viktor Axelsen who bagged his second BWF India Open title at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in Delhi on Sunday. The 25-year old Denmark native looked in top form as he finished the final match in just 46 minutes.
Hopes were high as ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth made it to the final of this year’s BWF India Open after he registered a hard-fought victory over China's Huang Yuxiang 16-21, 21-14, 21-19 in a thrilling semi-final match. This was Srikanth’s first appearance in a major final after a 17-month drought in the international circuit.
However, Denmark's Viktor Axelsen proved to be too much of a challenge as Srikanth fell to a straight game 21-7, 22-20 loss in the India Open final today. The Indian shuttler went down fighting and was just two points to wrap up the second game and level things up, but a few unforced errors cost Srikanth the match at the crucial moment and allowed his top-seeded opponent to win the final in straight games.
Axelsen, who was the silver medallist at the All England Championships earlier this year, first won the India Open in 2017 while Srikanth's only success at the tournament came way back in 2015.
The first game lasted just 12 minutes as Axelsen won 10 straight points when the game was 11-7 at the break to assert his dominance against Srikanth. However, the second game was a more even affair but Axelsen was still slightly ahead at the break at 11-9. Srikanth went on to make it 20-18 in his favour as the home crowd in the KD Jadhav Hall cheered for the local man.
However, Axelsen kept his calm and secured a title win and went on to celebrate in style.