Shuttler Srikanth reaches third straight final in Lucknow

Lucknow, Jan 30 (IANS) India’s Kidambi Srikanth came out with a fantastic performance to ease past Thai 11th seed Boonsak Ponsana in straight games to enter the men’s singles final of the $120,000 Syed Modi International Badminton Championships here on Saturday.

Top seed Srikanth needed just 32 minutes to come out on top with a 21-14, 21-7 victory in the semi-final at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium, which made him extend his career record to 3-1 against Ponsana.

A finalist here the last two years, Srikanth will be playing the Grand Prix Gold tournament title match for the third straight year hoping to be third time lucky.

The Guntur-born completely dominated the 11th seed in both the games.

In the first game, the 22-year-old took flight to earn an early 11-6 lead from where he won the next five points to make it 16-6. World No.28 Ponsana tried closing the gap but it was a bit too much for the Thai shuttler to take it to the wire.

World No.9 Srikanth raced away to a huge lead in the second game too which he kept extending, eventually winning 21 of the 28 points played in the game. From 12-6, he lost only one point in the next 10 played to clinch the game, match and enter the summit clash.

In the title clash, he will take on China’s Huang Yuxiang.

Earlier in the day, the crowd was disappointed as local pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa went down in the women’s doubles semis. Playing South Korean second seeds Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan, the sixth seeded Indian pair went down 14-21, 16-21 in 39 minutes.

Pranaav Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar will later take on South Korean second seeds Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang for a place in the men’s doubles final.

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