Sindhu stumbles in the final
Holding his nerves amid mounting pressure, P. Kashyap scripted an enthralling climax to win his maiden international badminton title. In the final of the $120,000 Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold championship here, Kashyap outlasted Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-19, 14-21, 21-17 in 72 minutes to give the vociferous flag-waving crowd just what it had come for.
A jubilant Kashyap, who collected $9,000, said, “I waited for this for a long time and it means a lot to me. It was the toughest match of the week for me. I owe this (title) to the efforts of Gopi (Chand) Sir who has worked tirelessly to change the course of Indian badminton. ”
Kashyap’s triumph helped lessen the disappointment of the three-game defeat suffered by a fighting P.V. Sindhu in the ladies final. Sindhu, like Kashyap, played her maiden Grand Prix Gold final fiercely but eventually it was Lindaweni Fanetri who emerged stronger at 21-15, 18-21, 21-18.
Kashyap, down 7-13 and 13-17 in the opening game, produced some scintillating stroke-play, with his jump-smashes bringing the crowd to its feet. The way Kashyap won eight out of the last 10 points of the game showed his supreme confidence.
In the second, the left-hander from Thailand did not allow Kashyap to unleash his smashes. He ensured Kashyap was busy retrieving from the flanks. With Kashyap always trying to catch up with Saensomboonsuk, it turned out to be a one-sided game once the latter curbed his unforced errors.
In the decider, Kashyap conceded the first point and then led right through. He did face some anxious moments when his Thai rival, who had beaten him three times in four meetings, made it 17-19. But Saensomboonsuk committed two unforced errors to leave Kashyap with a very special title.
Sindhu, 17 appeared overawed by the occasion. Backed by a vociferous crowd, that chanted her name and waved the National flag, Sindhu started nervously and conceded an eight-point lead that she found too much to overcome. Fanetri, whose game revolves around her ability to rally for long, made Sindhu move a lot more and gave away far less negative points.
Sindhu, who won the second game without trailing after building a handy12-6 lead, opened a 3-0 lead in the decider but let her tenacious rival bounce back with some very consistent play.
The results (finals, Indians unless stated):
Men: Singles: P. Kashyap bt Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) 21-19, 14-21, 21-17. Doubles: Sung Hyun Ko & Yong Dae Lee (Kor) bt Ji Wook Kang & Sang Joon Lee 21-13, 21-19.
Women: Singles: Lindaweni Fanetri (Ina) bt P.V. Sindhu 21-15, 18-21, 21-18. Doubles: Savitree Amitrapai & Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Komala Dewi & Jenna Gozali (Ina) 21-12, 21-6.
Mixed doubles: Fran Kurniawan & Shendy Puspa Irawati (Ina) bt Nipitphon Puangpuapech & Savitree Amitrapai (Tha) 21-12, 24-22.