With his win at the French Open, Srikanth Kidambi has taken his tally of Superseries titles this year to four. A feat achieved only by Lin Dan, Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei, arguably the best male players in the history of badminton.
The 24-year-old Srikanth is poised to become world No 2 following this win against Kento Nishimoto on Sunday. His win in France is the second in as many weeks after he won the Denmark Open, making it his second back-to-back Superseries win this year.
Srikanth has won his ten matches played over the past 12 days. His purple patch mimics that of Chong Wei’s in 2013 and Long’s in 2015, where they won seven and five titles respectively.
All of the other players are older and have been able to accumulate multiple Superseries wins over the last decade. Chong Wei, arguably the best player who hasn’t won an Olympic gold, dominates the professional badminton circuit and has won 45 Superseries titles since 2004.
However at 24, the same age as Srikanth, he’d won only four titles. Dan and Long were exceptionally successful in the early part of their careers. Chong Wei’s longevity at the highest level is a testament to his fitness. The Malaysian won the majority of his titles between 2010 and 2016 at least winning three titles a year.
But Srikanth’s Superseries winning streak could come to an abrupt halt much like Long who hasn’t won a title since 2015.
Srikanth would need several seasons like the one he has had this year to catch-up with Dan, Chong Wei and Long.
With three more Superseries tournaments to go, Srikanth could increase his tally. What’s most notable about the other three players is that they’ve all won Olympic medals in their careers, so if Srikanth’s 2017 is anything to go by, then we could see him on the podium at Tokyo in 2020.