Indonesia Open: Srikanth, Prannoy to play for final berth

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (June 18) congratulated Indian badminton player Kidambi Srikanth, on winning Indonesia Open Superseries tournament.

Indian shuttler Srikanth Kidambi won the men's singles title of the Indonesia Open Super Series here on Sunday, beating Japan's Kazumasa Sakai 21-11, 21-19 in the final and taking 75,000 US dollars of rewards.

However an all Indian final did not happen as HS Prannoy's campaign ended at the hands of Japanese Kazumasa Sakai 21-17, 26-28, 18-21 in a 77-minute men's singles match. The Indian pocketed $75,000 for the triumph.

World No 22 Srikanth played the game of his life to win 21-15, 14-21, 24-22 against the South Korean and set up an enticing clash with Sakai in the final on Sunday at the Jakarta Convention Center.

The first game was a cake walk for Srikanth, who kept himself focused to outclass his 27-year-old opponent 21-11. The Japanese resisted for a couple of points before conceding the first game at 11-21. With a place in the finals up for grabs, errors started creeping into the duo's game as both players were struggling to build up any sort of an advantage and at the midway point of the game, it was the World No.1 who took the slender 11-10 lead. With Srikanth hitting out, Son grabbed a 11-10 lead at the break. Then the game once again levelled at 19-19 and tensions of fans was on the rise.

The 27-year-old Japanese will now face the victor of the match between Srikanth and World no. 1 Son Wan Ho in the final.

One day after knocking out multiple world and Olympic medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, the unseeded Prannoy stunned Long 21-18, 16-21, 21-19 in a match lasting an hour and 15 minutes. "But overall, I think my game was going great, my attack was going well for me", Srikanth said. "We will work harder to prepare our players in further worldwide tournaments in the future", Xinhua news agency quoted India's Indonesian coach Mulyo Handoyo as saying.

Sakai, on the other hand hit a lovely drop at 27-26 to win the game.

  • Rogelio Becker