The 2019 Indian Open Badminton Super Series 500 tournament came to an end on Sunday with none of the Indians finishing in the pole position. Kidambi Srikanth was the lone Indian to reach the finals but Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen humbled him 21-7, 22-20 to clinch the Men’s Singles title within 49 minutes.
The game was nip and tuck until the scoreline read 7-7. After that, Viktor Axelsen won consecutive 14 points to wrap up the first set in just 11 minutes. Although Kidambi Srikanth lost the set via a heavy margin, it didn’t affect his confidence level as he brought his A-game in the second set.
The Indian levelled down the initial 5-1 lead to 11-all and tried to surge forward post that. However, the Danish World No. 4 ensured that the lead remained wafer thin, with Srikanth leading till 19-17. Axelsen neutralized the lead at 20-all when Srikanth failed to win the set point. A poor judgement from Srikanth’s behalf and a powerful smash meant the game never went to the decider.
Saina Nehwal had pulled out from the tournament even before it began as she failed to recover from an acute gastroenteritis problem. PV Sindhu reached the semi-finals in the Women’s Singles but lost to China’s He Bingjao 23-21, 21-18. Parupalli Kashyap, too, fell prey to Viktor Axelsen in the semi-finals as he lost 21-11, 21-17 in straight sets.
In doubles competition, the duo of B. Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri reached the semi-finals of the competition but lost to the Indonesian pair of Ricky Karanda Suwardi and Angga Pratama 21-12, 21-17. Other doubles shuttlers bowed out in the earlier stages of the competition.
The next task for the Indian shuttlers will be to come up with a respectable campaign in the Malaysia Open which starts from Monday. The good news for the Indian fans is that Saina Nehwal has recovered successfully and will be raring to go. This is a Super 750 event, meaning the stakes and ranking points will be higher.