Kuala Lumpur: A strong finish at the India Open will hold him in good stead when Kidambi Srikanth yet again strives to end his long title drought at the USD 700,000 Malaysia Open, beginning here Tuesday. Srikanth, who last won a title at the 2017 French Open, came close to ending the lean patch when he reached the finals of the India Open but Denmark's Viktor Axelsen thwarted his challenge on Sunday.
Despite the loss, it was a good week for the 26-year-old as he quelled the challenge of one opponent after another on way to his first summit clash of a BWF world tour event in 17 months. On Wednesday, Srikanth will begin his campaign against a qualifier, following the withdrawal of Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei, who was supposed to play his first event after recovering from nose cancer. Srikanth had said after the final Sunday "I'm just happy how it has been last week. I just want to take it the way it comes. I know I was trailing in most of the matches but somehow I wanted this kind of momentum. I wanted this kind of wins and want to continue this form now,".
Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu too was on course for a title win before she blew a four-game point to lose the semifinal against He Bingjiao of China last Saturday. The fifth-seeded Indian will cross swords with Japan's Aya Ohori in the opening round of the BWF World Tour Super 750. She is likely to get a chance to avenge her first-round loss at the All England Championship against Sung Ji Hyun of Korea, who she is expected to face in the second round.