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Rediff.com  » Sports » Srikanth wins Denmark Open, completes 'Super' hat-trick

Srikanth wins Denmark Open, completes 'Super' hat-trick

Last updated on: October 23, 2017 00:14 IST

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: Kidambi Srikanth in action during the Denmark Open final against Korea's Lee Hyun II . Photograph: Scanpix Denmark/Claus Fisker via Reuters

Kidmabi Srikanth clinched his third Super Series Premier title with a dominating straight-games victory over Korean veteran Lee Hyun II in a lop-sided men's singles final of the US $750,000 Denmark Open, in Odense, on Sunday.

Playing an opponent 12 years his senior, Srikanth asserted his dominance with a 21-10, 21-5 victory in 25 minutes.

"I am happy with the way it went for me; it was fantastic. I beat some tough players this week," Srikanth said, after demolishing the 37-year-old Korean.

On a lighter note, he said he never thought of winning three Super Series title in a single calendar year.

"I can't even say it's a dream come true because I never dreamt of wining three titles this year! I really want to continue playing well."

He may have won the final in a canter, but the Indian was respectful of his opponent's credentials.

"He is one of the most experienced players in the circuit. He is one of the best players, he is a two-time Olympic semi-finalist. It is a tremendous feat. He has a different style and he is known to turn matches after losing first game, so I am happy to could win in straight games," said the Indian badminton ace.

"I just wanted to continue what I did this week and not do anything fancy. I feel I have to be more consistent in the coming months," added Srikanth, who also won the Indonesia Super Series Premier and Australia Super Series this year.

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: Kidambi Srikanth poses with the trophy after winning the men's singles title. Photograph: Scanpix Denmark/Claus Fisker via Reuters

Asked if he expected the final to be so one-sided, Srikanth, who won the 2014 China Super Series premier and 2015 India Super Series, replied: "I didn't expect it would turn out this way. May be he was tired after a long match yesterday."

The world No 8 did not offer any chances to the more experienced Lee, who looked a pale shadow of the man who had beaten world No. 2 Son Wan Ho in the semi-finals on Saturday.

The duo were tied 4-4, before Srikanth changed gears and used his deceptive and powerful smashes to lead 9-5.

A return going to the net gave a point to Lee but Srikanth produced a brilliant cross-court net dribble to bamboozle his opponent and moved into the break with a healthy 11-6 lead when the Korean went wide.

Lee had no answer to Srikanth's razor-sharp smashes and cross-court returns as he led 14-8. Lee also made judgement errors at the baseline and also miscued his strokes as Srikanth extended his advantage to 17-8 with another smash.

The Korean hit two long shots and then sent one to the net to hand a 20-8 lead to Srikanth.

The Indian made two unforced errors and allowed Lee get into doubles figures, but Lee again erred with the length of his return as Srikanth pocketed the first game.

In the second game, Srikanth stepped up the pace and zoomed to a 11-1 lead even as Lee struggled with his strokes, hitting wide and long and often finding the net.

Post the mid-game break, Lee produced a steep cross-court return, much to the cheer of the sizable crowd that turned up to watch the final. The Korean lacked anticipation as Srikanth smashed his way to the title.

Earlier, 2013 World champion Ratchanok Inthanon produced another gritty display to beat world No. 5 and defending champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 14-21,
21-15, 21-19 and pick her first title of the season.

"I didn't think about winning or losing. I just wanted to give my best for our beloved King, who passed away last year. It has been difficult for us and I am happy I could find the mental strength and power to win today," a teary-eyed Inthanon said.

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, passed away last year after 70 years as head of state.

In other matches, Hong Kong's eighth seeded mixed doubles pair of Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet, which clinched the 2012 Japan Open Super Series, notched their maiden major title.

They defeated the top seeded Chinese combo of Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen 24-22, 19-21, 23-21 in a thrilling contest that lasted a little less than an hour.

Korea's women's doubles pair of Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan, which won the 2014 World Championship bronze medal in Denmark, dished out another sensational performance to outwit Japanese sixth seeds Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto 21-13, 21-16 and clinch the title.

The Chinese pair of Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan, seeded fifth, defeated the second seeded Indonesian combo of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 21-16, 22-24, 21-19 in the men's doubles final.

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