Both Anup Sridhar and Tanvi Lad toppled higher seeds to emerge the men’s and women’s champions at the Canara Bank all-India senior ranking badminton tournament which concluded at the K. Raheja Stadium here on Saturday.
Second-seeded Sridhar rode on vociferous support from the home crowd to defeat the top-seed Saurabh Varma 21-18, 8-21, 21-14 in an exciting men’s final. Tanvi, the third-seed, took out the second-seed and junior national champion Rituparna Das with a more straightforward 21-17, 21-19 victory.
Sridhar, an intimidating figure at well over six feet in height, used his reach to pick up easy winners at the net. Varma did not help his cause either, lifting the shuttle a tad too high, allowing the prowling Sridhar to employ the smash to good effect.
After going down in the first game, Varma wisely kept Sridhar at the back of the court, and won the second game 21-8. In the decider, the local favourite was pulled along to the finish line by an enthusiastic crowd.
Air India’s Tanvi clinched her first women’s national senior title by defeating a familiar foe from her days on the junior circuit. Tanvi, who recently moved from her home in Mumbai to the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad, kept up the pressure on Rituparna from the start.
The champion, while agreeing that she benefitted from her opponent’s errors, mentioned that the key to her tournament victory lay in the changes made “in footwork, grip and overall match-mindset” — a result of her move to Hyderabad.
The mixed doubles final saw a first title win for Ashwini Ponnappa and Tarun Kona, who beat Nanda Gopal and Sikki Reddy 21-14, 21-14.
The results (finals): Men: Anup Sridhar (Kar) bt Sourabh Varma (Petroleum) 21-18, 8-21, 21-14. Doubles: Chopra Pranaav Jerry (Petroleum) & Akshay Dewalkar (Air India) bt Nanda Gopal (Airports Authority of India) & Hemanagendra Babu (AP) 21-9, 22-20.
Women: Singles: Tanvi Lad (Air India) bt Rituparna Das (AP) 21-17, 21-19. Doubles: J. Meghana & Siki Reddy (Airports Authority of India) bt Prajakta Sawant (Petroleum) & Arathi Sara Sunil (Ker) 21-19, 21-19.
Mixed doubles: Tarun Kona & Ashwini Ponnappa (Petroleum) bt Nanda Gopal & Sikki Reddy (Airports Authority of India) 21-14, 21-14.