Srikanth Kidambi becomes the first Indian man to reach the final of the French Open Superseries
Indian shuttler Srikanth Kidambi continues to break yet more records in what has been an absolutely stupendous season of his career. After coming back from a game down to beat his compatriot, HS Prannoy 14-21, 21-19, 21-18 in the semi-finals of the French Open Superseries in Paris on Saturday, he etched his name in record books as the first Indian man to make it through to the summit clash of this tournament since it attained the status of a Superseries event in 2007.
He is also the second Indian to reach the final Sunday at this $325, 000 Superseries event at the French capital five years after Saina Nehwal finished as the runner-up to the Japanese shuttler, Minatsu Mitani in 2012.
Fifth Indian man to reach French Open final overall
The tournament that has been held since 1908 has seen quite a few Indian men’s singles exponents doing well over the years. Three Indian men have been able to lay their hands on the trophy, the most successful of which has been Saina Nehwal’s former coach, Vimal Kumar. The latter won it in 1983-84 after which Siddharth Jain tasted glory in 2000 and Abhinn Shyam Gupta in 2001.
Even Srikanth’s coach, Pullela Gopichand was one win away in 1999 but he succumbed to a defeat at the hands of Chen Gang of China in three games.
Srikanth looking to win back-to-back titles for the second time
The French Open Superseries final is the fifth final at this level for the irrepressible Srikanth this year, something no Indian has ever achieved. He already broke Saina Nehwal’s 2010 record of reaching three Superseries summit showdowns during his title-winning campaign at the Denmark Open last week.
He has now bettered his own record by adding another one in Paris this week. Srikanth will aim for a staggering fourth Superseries crown in 2017 when he locks horns with the World No. 40 Kenta Nishimoto of Japan on Sunday. Having already triumphed in back-to-back tournaments in consecutive weeks at the Indonesia Open and the Australian Open in June, he knows what it takes to do it again.
A win in the final over the Japanese qualifier will not only extend his winning streak to 10 matches but it will also give the 24-year-old his 10th career title on the BWF Tour.