K. Srikanth lifted his maiden men’s singles title with a stunning straight-game triumph over top-seeded local favourite Boonsak Ponsana at the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold on Sunday.
The 20-year-old beat world number eight Ponsana 21-16, 21-12 in a 34-minute match to script the biggest win of his still nascent career.
“When I went into the court, I was pretty okay. I was not thinking anything. He was the local guy and the court was also with him. I knew I had a 50-50 chance even though he is world number eight,” Srikanth said.
“I just wanted to give my 100 per cent. I was focusing on one point at a time and I knew it was all about who plays well on that particular day,” he said.
The first game went neck-and-neck before Srikanth broke free to notch up six consecutive points to win the game and wrest the initiative.
“The first game was tough. I was leading by 2-3 points from the start but in the end he was like 15-16 but he made some unforced errors as I played some attacking badminton. It worked as I got four points on the trot and that made all the difference,” he said.
The second game was a completely one-sided affair with Srikanth scoring at ease. The Indian sent down nine smashes against his rival’s three to stamp his authority in the match.
Ponsana had a two-point lead to start with but Srikanth made amends quite quickly to reel off eight successive points and seal the game and the match in his favour.
“In the second game I played pretty well, I was leading 11-5 and continued in the same vein. I didn’t relax and stayed focussed. I could see that although the crowd was supporting him, he looked tense and turned on the pressure on him,” he said.