Srikanth defeats Shi to reach maiden Australian Open final

Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth stormed into his third straight Superseries final after defeating Chinese fourth seed Shi Yuqi in straight games at the Australian Open in Sydney today.

All eyes, usually, are on PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal when it comes to Indian badminton, but Srikanth, with his own head-turning displays, is slowly changing that trend.

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The only Indian left in the competition, Srikanth has reached three consecutive Superseries finals now with his win over Shi and could win his fourth Superseries crown on Sunday.

The first game started with Srikanth's first point coming from his trademark powerful smash. He will face the victor of the Chen Long vs Lee Hyun II match later in the day.

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Generally known for his attacking gameplay, Srikanth surprised the world No.4 with his patience and handsome net play.

There were a few hiccups as Shi Yuqi tried to close the gap but Srikanth kept his cool to close out the game and with it the match. But like the first game, Srikanth upped the ante and streaked to 15-8 lead.

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This was the Hyderabadi's second win over the World No.4 Chinese in as many meetings, having defeated Shi in the Singapore Open Superseries in April. But it was Srikanth's brilliant net play which helped him to move to 7-6 with a backhand smash. He once again gained a three-point advantage at the interval with another attacking net play. However, the difference turned out to be too much as Srikanth continued to force him to lose points through a range of flicks to lead 19-13. He then converted his second opportunity with a thumping crosscourt smash to book a place in the final.

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