India's Kidambi Srikanth reaches Indonesian Masters final

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Malang (Indonesia), Dec 5: Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth is showing signs of having regained his old form as he entered the men's singles final of the $120,000 Indonesian Masters Grand Prix Gold with a straight games victory here on Saturday.

The top seed needed just 37 minutes to oust local man Ginting Anthony 21-13, 21-19 in the semifinal, played at the Gedung Graha Cakrawala. With the win, the Guntur-born levelled his head-to-head to 1-all against the Indonesian.

Kidambi Srikanth

Lately, Srikanth has had one of the worst runs in his international career, having exited five of his last six tournaments in the first round. The only time he did not lose the opener was when he lost the second round at the Denmark Open in October.

However, fortunes seem to have changed as this performance will give him the confidence going ahead. This is his fourth final this year after winning two (India Open Superseries and Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold) and losing one (India Grand Prix Gold).

Significantly, all three performances came at the start of the year after which the 22-year-old went through a slump.

On Saturday, he led from the start in the first game and never lost the lead. He played like a winner, keeping well ahead of his World No. 39 opponent. He took an early lead of 7-2 and from 12-all, lost only one point in the next 10 points played to easily pocket the game.

It was the reverse in the second game as Anthony came back strongly to go 7-2 up. But Srikanth completely turned the tables on the Indonesian to clinch 14 of the next 15 points and go 16-8 ahead!

Anthony tried closing the gap but it was a little too late as Srikanth closed the contest on his third match point.

In the final, he will face another Indonesian - the winner of the match between Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo and second seed Tommy Sugiarto.

IANS

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