Paris: Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth clinched his maiden French Open beating Kenta Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13 in straight sets at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris on Sunday. The win also made him the first Indian to win four Super Series titles in a year.
Beginning with a runners-up trophy after losing the Singapore open against compatriot B Sai Praneeth in April, the 24-year-old has now gone on to win the Indonesia, Australian, Denmark and the French Open all in the same year.
The match started on a brisk note as both shuttlers rallied equally, before Nishimoto took a brief lead, but Srikanth with the array of powerful smashes in his sleeve fought back to stand at 11-9 at the first break. It continued the same way, until Srikanth began to dominate standing at 19-12 and although the Japanese fought back with two straight points, he could not withstand as the Indian won the first set 21-14.
The second set as expected was completely different with Srikanth taking charge as Nishimoto found it hard to combat the Denmark Open champion. The first half ended at 11-5 as Srikanth with his clever play and superb positioning outplayed the Japanese out-ranker. It was over for Nishimoto form there as Srikanth crushed the Japanese 21-13 to add another title
The 40th ranked Japanese looked nervous throughout the match, making several unforced errors with most of this long shots landing outside the court. But although the match looked one sided after finishing within just over half-an-hour, one has to remember that Srikanth was down at 5-9 at the start and credit must be given to the Gopichand academy lad for making it look easy despite going behind.
Srikanth who came into the match with much more big match experience than his opponent in the final, clearly dominated the game with his brilliant skills and pace as the Japanese Nishimoto ran out of steam as the match progressed.