Shuttler Srikanth in Australian Open final

Shuttler Srikanth in Australian Open final

Shuttler Srikanth in Australian Open final

Kidambi Srikanth continued his dream run and grabbed a third successive Super Series final spot at the Australian Open with a straight-game victory over China's Shi Yuqi here on Saturday. The match lasted 37 minutes.

Srikanth is looking to become only the second Indian to win the Australian Open after ace shuttler Saina Nehwal won in 2014 and 2016.

Srikanth will play either reigning Olympic champion and two-time World champion and All England champion Chen Long or Korea's Lee Hyun II in the finals.

The first game started with Srikanth's first point coming from his trademark powerful smash. The score was tied at 6-6 before Srikanth stretched his lead to 11-8. He capitalised on the spaces that he opened up by playing a lot of crosscourt drops and half smashes. Srikanth, who had previously beaten Yuqi in the Singapore Open, winded up the match in less than 40 minutes with a clinical display of smashes and backhands. "I was in control at the net".

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The only Indian left in the competition, Srikanth has been on a role this year. The two shuttlers battled neck and neck till 7-7 before a three-point burst saw the Indian take the lead at 10-7.

Elsewhere, China's Shi Yuqi defeated defending champion Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in straight games and set up an exciting semi-final clash with Srikanth on Friday.

Tai stayed level through the first game but Yamaguchi got lucky on her first game point - the shuttle catching the tape and tumbling into Tai's court - and the Japanese consolidated her lead with solid play in the second. He once again gained a three-point advantage at the interval with another attacking net play. "I played him twice this year, I lost 21-19 or so", he said.

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