By Ashok Kumar
Sydney, June 25,2017
A new star is born in the Badminton world where once Saina Nehwal of India once ruled as the queen of the Australian Badminton Open (ABO). Kidambi Srikanth joins Saina Nehwal as the new champion of the ABO and has kept the Indian flag flying high. Srikanth had a dream run in the badminton sport as he featured in the Sudirman cup and won the Indonesian open but was runners-up in the Singapore open.
This is also the first time an Indian men’s singles player won the ABO title by beating Chen Long of China 22-20; 21-16. Srikanth has now soared into the big league where once Chinese players dominated. “I am not really thinking too much about winning,” Kidambi said.
“In all the breaks I really had the advantage so my coach just told me to keep it
going and not make any stupid mistakes that would allow him to get back into the match.”
Srikanth set up his attack and broke Chen’s defence continuously well throughout the match, using his aggression on the court to dominate the play and keep Chen in check.
“I think it worked really well for me. I’m not really sure why, but I am really happy that it did.”
Another Indian semi-finalist Sai Praneeth was unable to get the berth in the finals. Defending champion and two time winner of ABO, Saina Nehwal who in an interview to this correspondent had said she loves to play in Australia and Australian court suit her well, went down fighting in the Quarter finals in three games soon after compatriot P.V. Sindhu lost her Quarter Finals match after tough fight.
Over all, the final day saw aggressive Nozomi Okhura dominated the women singles title match and won by beating compatriot Akane Yamaguchi 21-12 21-23 21-17. The day saw Japan featuring in almost all the final games on the final day. In the men’s doubles Japan’s Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda won the title, taking out the match 21-17 21-19 over the mixed nation combination of Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia) and Boon Heong Tan (Malaysia).
Japan’s Misaki Matsumoto and Ayaka Takahashi met Denmark’s Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen. The Japanese pair won the title easily 21-10; 21-13. In the mixed doubles Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto could not hold on to win, going down 18-21 21-14 21-17 to China’s Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen.