It has been a record-breaking week for Kidambi Srikanth after he made history after becoming the first Indian to win back-to-back Super Series titles after wins in Indonesia and Australia. He had also become just the sixth male shuttler and the first from India to reach three consecutive Super Series finals, joining the pantheon of greats that includes Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan.
With his victory over Chen Long in the final in Sydney, he also created another record for India, pushing the country ahead of Chinese Taipei in the standings for the most singles Super Series titles won this year. Indian badminton, especially the men’s section, has been on an upward surge for quite a while now and these new standings reflect the trend.
|Country||No. of titles|
|India||4 (Srikanth K x 2, Sai Praneeth, PV Sindhu)|
|Chinese Taipei||3 (Tai Tzu Ying x 3)|
|Japan||2 (Nozomi Okuhara, Sayaka Sato)|
|Denmark||1 (Viktor Axelsen)|
|China||1 (Lin Dan)|
1 (Lee Chong Wei)
PV Sindhu, who became the queen of Indian badminton after her silver medal at the Rio Olympics last year, had a wonderful home run earlier this year, which saw her end unbeaten in two straight tournaments. She lifted the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold crown in Lucknow and followed it with the India Open title in April in Delhi, defeating Carolina Marin in the final.
Srikanth has been in excellent form which has seen him reach three SS finals in a row. The first came in Singapore, where he was defeated by compatriot Sai Praneeth in three hard-fought sets. Praneeth followed that victory up with another title in Bangkok at the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold, where he overcame a stiff challenge from youngster Jonatan Christie in the final.
Another male shuttler who hit the headlines was HS Prannoy, after reaching the semifinals of the Indonesia Open with two outstanding victories. First, he defeated the legendary Lee Chong Wei in straight games, before disposing of reigning Olympic champion Long.
However, the star of the show has been Srikanth, who is all set to return to the top 10 in the world rankings, after the twin title wins. In both tournaments, he defeated current world number one Son Wan Ho of Korea and in the final in Australia, he defeated Long in straight games – his first win over the Chinese player in six attempts.