GAME AND MATCH, VIKTOR AXELSEN 21,7 22-20: It’s all over! What a stunning turnaround at the end there by the former World No 1 from Denmark. Wins four points in a row to wrap the game up in straight games. It was a terrific rally at match point but Srikanth was found just wanting. That second game was a lot of fun to watch.
4.57 pm: That is all from us for now as Axelsen receives the medal for his 2nd title win in Delhi and 2nd title for 2019. For Srikanth too, this is a good week. Stay tuned for report and analysis from our reporters in Delhi.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: It was not to be for Srikanth as Axelsen wins four straight points to win the match 21-7, 22-20 and then throws his racquet and t-shirt in the gallery to celebrate. They really do love Axelsen in Delhi.
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 20-20 Axelsen: And Axelsen ups his game at the net and saves both game points!
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 20-18 Axelsen: Two game points for Srikanth! Superb fightback, this.
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 19-17 Axelsen: After a near-flawless opening game, Axelsen is making the sort of errors Srikanth made in the first game — sends a tap from the net long to hand Srikanth a two-point lead.
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 16-16 Axelsen: The Dane moves back into the lead with an uptempo rally and Srikanth follows that up with an aggressive rally himself. This is a superb match, fitting of the final now. Great to watch.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: Srikanth is looking a lot more assured with his stroke play after change of ends, willing to play longer rallies. Can he can raise the bar further and change the course of this match?
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 14-13 Axelsen: Is there a momentum shift in this match? Srikanth is playing better and better now. His defence coming to the fore in a long rally to help him stun Axelsen and then a couple of errors from Axelsen sees Srikanth sneak into the lead!
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 11-12 Axelsen: A rather splendid rally (longest of the match: 38 SHOTS) ends with a rather tame error from Srikanth as he nets a simple forehand. Frustrating to watch after all the hard work. But Sri once again fights back with a couple of short points.
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 9-11 Axelsen: Just a mini fightback from Srikanth after Axelsen opened up a four-point lead. Short rallies, rare errors from Axelsen. Srikanth then nets one to hand the Dane a lead at the break. That was a silly error from Srikanth to surrender momentum.
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 5-8 Axelsen: First fist pump we can remember seeing from Srikanth after a good rally. Srikanth managed to win three consecutive points for the first time in the match to close the gap at 5-4 but Axelsen has extended his lead to 8-5 now after a judgement error from Srikanth at the baseline. Srikanth must stay in touch with the Dane here.
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 4-5 Axelsen: Something for the crowd to cheer as Srikanth wins a long rally, moving Axelsen around and then seeing a lift sail long. Good smash from the Indian after that. Axelsen sends a shuttle wide and Srikanth finds his footing again.
Second game, Srikanth 7-21 0-3 Axelsen: More of the same from the Dane to start the second game. Gopichand had a lengthy chat with Srikanth between the two games but doesn’t seem to have any effect yet.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: The last point where Srikanth slapped a tap behind the back line was the right indicator as to how the game went. The Dane was completely dominant while the Indian made too many errors as he could not win a point from 7-11 at the break.
First game, Srikanth 7-21 Axelsen: WOW. What did we just see! Srikanth has been blown away by Axelsen in the opening game. The Dane wins every single point after the mid-game interval to wrap up the opening game in JUST ELEVEN MINUTES! Geez, that was some domination. Srikanth looked completely out of sorts.
First game, Srikanth 7-16 Axelsen: Srikanth is trying to increase the temp but there is a complete lack of rhythm in his game at the moment. The Dane has RACED INTO A BIG LEAD after the break.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: Srikanth needs to cut down on his unforced errors and find a better length while playing the lifts as Axelsen manages to hit a few winners to take 11-7 lead
First game, Srikanth 7-11 Axelsen: A rather subdued opening to this game but, as the commentator put it, the power of Axelsen is trumping the deception of Srikanth at the moment.
First game, Srikanth 7-9 Axelsen: Not the highest quality of badminton you will ever see, both players are making uncharacteristic errors at the start but Axelsen is doing a better job of keeping the shuttle in play. Srikanth reduces the deficit with a lovely backhand drop, perhaps the best shot he’s played so far.
First game, Srikanth 5-7 Axelsen: Viktor Axelsen has a big fan-base in India but there is no doubt who the crowd is rooting for in Delhi today. Big cheers every time Srikanth wins a point. First long rally of the match is won by Axelsen as Srikanth sends a smash wide. The Dane has a two-point lead.
First game, Srikanth 3-4 Axelsen: Couple of well-constructed rallies from the big Dane and he inches ahead 3-2. Srikanth with a quick return to make it 3-3 and then Axelsen sends in a booming body smash.
First game, Srikanth 2-1 Axelsen: A couple of errors from Axelsen early on gives Srikanth a slender lead.
4.13 pm: Viktor Axelsen has won four of the last five encounters between the two. Srikanth’s only win coming on the Dane’s home turf in 2017. Srikanth to serve here, we are all set in front of a vociferous home crowd.
4.09 pm: Viktor Axelsen leads the head-to-head against Srikanth but only just about. It’s 4-3 in favour of the Dane. Today would be a good time for Srikanth to make it 4-4.
4.05 pm: When Kidambi Srikanth will step on to the court against Viktor Axelsen in the men’s singles final of the India Open Super 500 on Sunday, the home favourite will probably start as an underdog.
Srikanth has managed to turn things around in this tournament, reaching his first BWF Tour final in over a year. But such has been the domination of Axelsen in New Delhi this week is that he is yet to concede a game in the tournament so far.
Meanwhile, Ratchanok Intanon has won her third India Open title with a superb performance against He Bingjiao.
4.00 pm: Hello all and welcome to the live blog of the final between K Srikanth and Viktor Axelsen at the India Open.
Former champion K Srikanth broke a 17-month long drought by reaching the finals of the $350,000 India Open after prevailing in a three-game thriller in the men’s singles competition in New Delhi Saturday.
Srikanth had entered the finals of Commonwealth Games last year but he failed to reach the summit clash in any BWF superseries or BWF World Tour tournament since his French Open win in October, 2017.
The 26-year-old from Guntur eked out a 14-21 21-16 21-19 triumph over China’s Huang yuxiang in an engrossing semifinal. He will face either second seed Viktor Axelsen in the final, who is also the former champion at the event.