Minutes after Saina Nehwal won her first China Open title, India’s World number 16 Kidambi Srikanth notched up his maiden title in his professional career as he defeated five time World Champion and two time Olympic Champion China’s Lin Dan 21-19, 21-17 in the finals of 2014 China Open men’s singles.
After conceding the first game to the Indian, the Chinese came back strongly in the second game but Srikanth was on a different class altogether. ulike the first game, the second game was neck-to-neck before Srikanth went for the kill. Trailing 9-11 during the halfway mark, Srikanth pulled on the triggers. When it all seemed to go Lin Dan’s way, when the scores were 15-13 in favour of Lin Dan, the stubborn Indian fought back with two smashes which are too strong for Lin Dan and it’s 15-15. It was Srikanth’s match since then as he raced to thae match point before converting it ancd created history.
Earlier in the match, the Srikanth put the Chinese World no. 14 on the back-foot as he raced to an 11-7 lead in the half way mark of the first set. It set the tone for Srikanth as he matched Dan with his shots. Dan was bit surprised with Srikanth’s deceptive skills when he was clueless for his smashes and drop shots. When it all seemed to go Dan’s way when the scoreline read 19-18 in favour of him, the Indian stepped up his game and went on to take the first game 21-19, courtesy two consecutive smashes down the line.
This victory could see Srikanth rising up atleast three places in the World rankings.