Kidambi Srikanth surpasses Prakash Padukone, Pullela Gopichand in career titles count after Denmark Open victory
What’s the story?
Kidambi Srikanth rose above Indian badminton legends like Prakash Padukone and his own coach Pullela Gopichand, with his victory at the Denmark Open Super Series Premier, at Odense, on Sunday.
However, Srikanth still remains third on the list of most titles won by Indian shuttlers, with women’s singles sensations Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu taking the top two spots.
In case you didn’t know…
Srikanth has had a brilliant year in 2017, winning three titles. He has won the Indonesia Open, the Australia Open, and now the Denmark Open. He also became the first Indian shuttler to make it to four Super Series finals in a year, as he lost out to compatriot B Sai Praneeth in the summit clash of the Singapore Open.
He has shown exemplary form in the recently concluded Denmark Open, winning against World No 1 and local hero Viktor Axelsen.
Heart of the matter
With this win, Srikanth has taken himself to nine career titles, pushing him up to the third spot, with respect to the total number of titles won by Indian shuttlers. In doing so, he has managed to overtake two legends of Indian badminton – Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand.
The duo is famous for their exploits in the All England Championships, which Padukone won in 1980, while Gopichand won in 2001.
Up next for Srikanth is the French Open, which is set to get underway on Tuesday, after a day of rest post the Denmark Open. Srikanth will be looking to get to the final of yet another tournament in France. A win over there will help him catch up with Sindhu with regards to the total titles record.
However, he still has a long way to go, to catch up with Saina Nehwal, who has 21 career titles to her name.
Srikanth has been the shining light for Indian badminton over the years, and will look to challenge for the top tournaments in the future. Having jumped to the number four spot in the BWF rankings, he will now look to reach the number one spot with more such performances.