Srikanth shocks Ponsana for maiden Grand Prix title

Bangkok, June 9 (IANS) Twenty-year-old K. Srikanth outplayed top seed Boonsak Ponsana to triumph at the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold badminton event here Sunday and win the first major title of his blossoming career.

World No.61 Srikanth showed no signs of nervousness against his fancied Thai opponent before completing a 21-16, 21-12 rout in front of a hostile crowd at the Nimibutr Stadium.

Srikanth’s win here has given rise to another Indian talent. The Guntur-born player had also won the Maldives International Challenge in 2012.

“I did not think of winning or losing against Ponsana before I stepped on the court. I trusted myself and wanted to give my best. Eventually, I was able to play freely and that helped me to win,” Srikanth told IANS.

The memorable win has not sunk in yet for the Gopichand Academy pupil but he is already looking forward to extending his purple patch at the Singapore Superseries starting June 18.

“I am heading back to Hyderabad tonight. The focus will now be on maintaining this form and do well in Singapore,” said Srikanth, who moved to the Andhra Pradesh capital in 2009 to realise his badminton dreams.

What did he think of his showing in the final?

“The attacking approach helped me control the match. Ponsana is a big player but it seemed as if he was under a lot of pressure. On the other hand, I had nothing to lose,” said Srikanth.

The first game was close until the Indian took four consecutive points from 16-15. He took the lead in the contest after converting the second game point.

Srikanth raced away to a 14-6 lead in the second before comfortably closing out the match.

He collected a $9,000 cheque for his feat.

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