Odense: India ace Kidmabi Srikanth clinched his third Super Series Premier title with a dominating straight-game victory over Korean veteran Lee Hyun II in a lop-sided final of the USD 750,000 Denmark Open here today.
Playing an opponent 12 years his senior, Srikanth asserted his dominance with a 21-10 21-5 win over 37-year-old Lee in a match that lasted just 25 minutes here. “I am happy with the way it went for me, it was fantastic. I beat some tough players this week,” Srikanth told after the final.
On a lighter note, Srikanth said that he never ever dreamt of winning three Super Series title in a single calender 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 tocontinue playing well.”
He won it on a canter but Srikanth 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,”Srikanth said.
“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,” said Srikanth, who also won the IndonesiaSuper Series Premier and Australia Super Series this year. Asked if he expected it to be so lop-sided, Srikanth, who had won the 2014 China Super Series premier and 2015 IndiaSuper Series, said: “I didn’t expect it will turn out this way. May be he was tired after a long match yesterday.”
The world No 8 didn’t give 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 yesterday. The duo were tied 4-4, before Srikanth changed gears and used his deception 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 answers to Srikanth’s razor-sharp smashes and cross court returns as the Indian 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 at the net to hand over a 20-8 lead to Srikanth. The Indian made two unforced errors to allow 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 on the gas and zoomed to a 11-1 lead even as Lee struggled with his strokes,hitting wide and long and often finding the net.
Post mid-game break, Lee produced a steep cross court return, much to the cheer of the sizable crowd who had turned out to watch the finals. The Korean lacked anticipation asSrikanth smashed his way to the title.