It was a steady start for the Japanese Kenta Nishimoto as he grabbed an early lead in the opening game but Srikanth was quick to get back and snatched the lead.
Srikanth's dream season continued as he brushed aside the challenge of Japan's Kenta Nishimoto in straight games to win the French Open Super Series men's singles title in Paris.
Unlike last week's Denmark Open final, where Srikanth won one of the most one-sided Superseries finals ever against Lee Hyun Il, this one is likely to be more competitive and full of attacking play, especially if both Srikanth and Nishimoto play fearlessly and without nerves.
The success put the Ravulapalem (Andhra Pradesh) native into his fifth Superseries final, following title clashes in Singapore (the only final he lost, to compatriot Sai Praneeth), Indonesia, Australia, Denmark, and now here in France. Post interval Srikanth couldn't be stopped from winning a series of points. He also joined an elite few of Malaysia legend Lee Chong Wei and Chinese greats Lin Dan and Chen Long to bag four or more Superseries titles in a year. Srikanth leads 12-6. The Indian made it look quite easy but one has to keep in mind that he was down 5-9 at the start.
"Prannoy really played well today", Srikanth conceded after the match.
The unforced error count will decide the match as Nishimoto in particular likes pulling the trigger and can be guilty of being overambitious at times.
Srikanth became the first Indian man to win the French Open title.
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It was only the recently-developed killer instinct and greatly improved physical fitness that permitted Srikanth to stage comebacks from 17-19 in the second game and 16-18 in the decider, to grab the last four points in the middle game, and the final five points in the decider of their entertaining 62-minute joust.
The two finalists have only clashed once before, when the Indian tamed the 23-year-old, 40th ranked Nishimoto easily by a 21-12, 21-11 verdict at the Singapore Open, earlier this year.
IST: The two finalist, Nishimoto and Srikanth make their way into the arena as we get the match underway.
He maintained the lead till the end and eventually won the first game. After trailing 2-8 in the early minutes of the first game, Nishimoto dominated the rest of the match, thanks to his fearless strokeplay. "The second and third games were pretty close, and could have gone either way". Wonderful victory at the French Open Super Series.
4-1: Srikanth races a 4-1 lead.
Nishimoto is just the seventh qualifier to reach a men's singles Superseries final in 11 years.