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Srikanth wins Swiss Grand Prix Gold championship

K. Srikanth.  

Young Indian shuttler K. Srikanth clinched the Swiss Grand Prix Gold championship title after overcoming a strong challenge from Viktor Axelson in a hard-fought men’s singles final here on Sunday.

World No. 4 Srikanth showed nerves of steel to prevail over his Danish opponent, ranked sixth in the world, 21-15, 12-21, 21-14 in the thrilling summit clash of the $120,000 event that lasted 47 minutes.

Srikanth, who created a major upset in the final of the 2014 China Open Super Series Premier by beating five-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan, kept his nerve to make a strong comeback after going down tamely in the second game.

The top two seeds started off positively in the opening game, not sparing an inch to each other. It was a closely fought affair till 8-8 before the Indian managed to take a slender lead at the St. Jakobshalle stadium here.

The 22-year-old from Andhra Pradesh played sensibly thereafter and never let the advantage slip. He maintained an edge over his opponent to finally wrap up the first game rather comfortably.

However, Axelson got his act together in the second game and put up a strong show. From being tied 2-2, Axelson broke away and surged ahead 7-2. He kept extending the advantage and the margin became impossible for the Indian to reduce.

In the third game, Srikanth opened up a 3-0 lead and then made it 4-1. Axelson, not one to get intimidated, levelled the scores at 4-4 before gaining a few more points to surge ahead.

Srikanth soon drew parity at 9-9 and it moved on like that till 13-13 before the top-seeded Indian won three points in a row.

Axelson earned another one but the Indian grabbed the next five points on the trot to win the title.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 12:57:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/srikanth-wins-swiss-grand-prix-gold-championship/article6996358.ece

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