Kidambi beats Japan’s Sakai to win Indonesia Open - his second Super Series Premier crown since 2014 China Open; says win is confidence-booster ahead of Worlds in August

India’s Kidambi Srikanth celebrates after beating Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai at the Indonesia Open men’s singles final in Jakarta yesterday. Pic/AP/PTI India’s Kidambi Srikanth celebrates after beating Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai at the Indonesia Open men’s singles final in Jakarta yesterday. Pic/AP/PTI 

India ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth yesterday said the Indonesia Super Series Premier triumph is a much-needed boost for him ahead of the World Championship.

Srikanth cliched his third Super Series title (two Super Series Premier and one Super Series) after laying claim to the USD 1,000,000 Indonesia Super Series Premier men’s singles crown with a straight-game, 21-11 21-19 victory over Japanese Kazumasa Sakai in the final yesterday.

"It was a fantastic game for me. I started off really well in the first game but he was playing well in the second game, leading 11-6 at the break and fighting it out. But overall, my game was going great, my attack was going well for me," Srikanth said.

"It is a much needed win for me. After losing the finals at Singapore Open, to reach another final here was a good thing. It has been a while since I won a super series tournament," he added.

World No. 22 Srikanth, who had reached the finals at Singapore Open in April, outclassed Sakai, ranked 47, in just 37 minutes to take home a cheque of USD 75,000. The 24-year-old hopes more success will come his way as he gears up for Australia Open next week ahead of the World Championship in August.

"I am playing Australian Open next week. It is the last tournament before the World Championship. I’m looking forward to that. It’s a big confidence booster for me ahead of the World Championship. I hope there’s a lot more to come," added Srikanth, who had a long injury lay-off after the Rio Olympics.

"I was out of badminton for sometime after the Olympics, it was the longest time that I have been out ever since I started playing. It was tough to come out of that injury phase," added Srikanth, who became the first Indian shuttler to win all three titles — Grand Prix gold, Super Series and Super Series Premier.

Sakai said though he failed to cross the finishing line, he was satisfied with his performance this week.

"I was very tired in the first game and my serve was not as good as I hoped. In the second game, I had hoped to maintain my lead but he got back to 13-13 and then got the lead when I was 19-18. I wanted to win but I am satisfied overall with my performance here," he said. 

$75k The prize cheque (Rs 48 lakh approximately) Kidambi Srikanth took home with the Indonesia Open Super Series title yesterday