India's Kidambi Srikanth defeated fourth seed Yuqi Shi 21-10, 21-14 from China to reach his maiden Australian Open final in Sydney on Saturday.
Srikanth, who had reached the summit clash in Singapore and Indonesia, joined Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, the Chinese duo of Chen Long and Lin Dan to become only the fifth player in the world to contest three successive Super Series finals.
In the finals, Srikanth is likely to face Chen Long or Lee Hyun.
Generally known for his attacking gameplay, Srikanth surprised the world No.4 with his patience and handsome net play. Srikanth, who had previously beaten Yuqi in the Singapore Open, winded up the match in less than 40 minutes with a clinical display of smashes and backhands. The score was tied at 6-6 before Srikanth stretched his lead to 11-8.
"Yes, it's a dream performance", Srikanth said.
In the first game, Shi Yuqi was neck-to-neck with Srikanth at 4-4 but thereafter, the Indian shuttler upped his ante and opened a 16-10 lead, wrapping up the game with taking five consecutive points.
In the first game, after initial close battles, Srikanth raced ahead to make it 15-9. However, the difference turned out to be too much as Srikanth continued to force him to lose points through a range of flicks to lead 19-13. Shi seemed lost for ideas as Srikanth's vast experience and superior net play meant that he had to play out of his comfort zone. He once again gained a three-point advantage at the interval with another attacking net play. After being down for a few seconds however, Srikanth got up and breezed his way into the final, fittingly with a smash.