New Delhi: In a blockbuster men's singles final at of the Senior Badminton National Championship in Nagpur, giant-killer HS Prannoy defeated world number 2 Kidambi Srikanth in three grueling games.
In a repeat of the French Open Super Series semifinal, Prannoy exacted his revenge on his more celebrated compatriot, winning the match 21-15, 16-21, 21-7. Last month, Prannoy lost to Srikanth 14-21, 21-18, 21-19 in 62 minutes in Paris.
This is the first national title for Prannoy, while Srikanth was the winner of the 2013 edition.
Prannoy has been in fine form as he reached the semifinals at Indonesia Super Series Premier and French Open Super Series to achieve his career-high ranking of World No 11. In the process, he has defeated top dogs like Lee Chong Wei twice, and defeated Chen Long, once during this season.
Srikanth and Prannoy have played four times in their international career, with the former having the last laugh on the last three occasions.
The only time Prannoy had beaten Srikanth was way back at the 2011 Tata Open.
Srikanth has been in the form of his life. He clinched four Super Series titles after reaching five finals this season to join the likes of two-time former Olympic champion Lin Dan, three-time Olympic silver medallists Lee Chong Wei and current Olympic gold medallist Chen Long.
In yet another blockbuster clash on the final day of the competition, two Olympic medallists — Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu — will take on each other in the women's singles final.
In recent times, the significance of national tournaments `had come into question with the top players skipping to prepare for international tournaments.
But this year, most of the top players featured in the Nagpur event, showcasing Indian true badminton prowess.
Indeed, the manner in which Prannoy defeated a seemingly unbeatable Srikanth in three games was a testament to thriving sports in India.