Three top-of-the-lung screams followed by a pumped fist were enough to tell spectators at the Singapore Indoor Stadium what a win over Kidambi Srikanth meant to Mithun Manjunath.
For the 60 minutes that preceded, the 24-year-old kept his composure to defeat the seventh seed, who captained India to their first Thomas Cup glory in May, 21-17 15-21 21-18 in the Singapore Open 2022 first round.
In the post-match interview, an elated Manjunath said: “He’s my favourite Indian player. Beating him is a big moment, that too at an event of this magnitude. I played a fantastic match in very tricky conditions against the best player in India.
Asked how he pulled off the result, the world No.77 said: “I managed the drift well. I kept the shuttle in the middle, not to the lines because the drift was going out. Once I had the momentum, I just had to maintain it.”
Earlier, Sunday’s PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2022 winner Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo lost to Brian Yang 21-12 21-17 in their first meeting.
Yang said Wardoyo coming into the tournament on the back of his success was a blessing in disguise.
“It took a bit of pressure off me and I was able to take advantage of that,” said the Canadian ranked three places above his world No.34 opponent.
“He has a good net spin and attack so I had to be ready for that. I watched his matches from last week and that helped a lot. I was able to control the shuttle and his shots weren’t as good as they usually are.”
Following Wardoyo out was the man he defeated in the title match in Kuala Lumpur, Ng Ka Long Angus. The Hong Kong China man also lost in straight games – 21-16 21-17 – to Malaysian youngster Ng Tze Yong.