Kerala's Prannoy and AAI's Sindhu claimed their maiden badminton major Senior titles on the final day of the Bank of India all-India Senior ranking badminton tournament at the KBA courts here on Tuesday. And both achieved this feat accounting for higher seeded players.
While Prannoy downed second seed Nanda Gopal of Andhra Pradesh 21-18, 12-21, 21-14 in just 45 minutes for the men's singles title and purse of Rs. 75000, the unseeded sub-junior National champion Sindhu outclassed fellow AAI player and fourth seed Neha Pandit 21-13, 22-20.
There was no doubting Sindhu's superiority in the final against Neha, a trainee at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy.
With her long limbs, the 15-year-old daughter of former India volleyball captain and Arjuna Awardee P.V. Ramanna Rao, not only covered the court well but also executed some quick jab-smashes to catch her opponent flat footed time and again.
After the first game, Neha changed her tactics and despite trailing 9-14 managed to draw abreast at 14-all. But a drop that landed in the net gave Sindhu the advantage at 20-19.
However, a poor backhand by Sindhu ensured that the game went into extra points. But Neha ran out of steam and conceded the next two points and the match.
Sindhu pocketed Rs. 50,000 for her win while Neha was awarded Rs. 25,000. Prannoy, who scalped top seed Saurabh Verma and Sai Praneeth earlier, gave nothing away in the first game against Nanda Gopal.
He relaxed a bit in the second to give the AP shuttler a chance to crawl back into the match. But the second seed, in a bid to finish off the rallies in a hurry, made too many unforced errors and threw away the third game and match. Nanda Gopal was richer by Rs. 40,000 for his runner-up finish.
Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan clinched a double each. The duo justified their top billing in the mixed doubles final. Then Vishu partnered Akshay Dewalkar to win the men's doubles title while Aparna teamed up with Prajakta Sawant to outplay the Thulasi and Sindhu for the women's double title.
The results: Men: Singles: Final: Prannoy (Ker) bt Nanda Gopal (AP) 21-18, 12-21, 21-14. Doubles: Final: Akshay Dewalkar / Arun Vishnu bt Sai Praneet / Pranav Chopra 21-17, 21-18. Semifinals: Dewalkar / Vishnu bt Sunjith / Ram C. Vijay 21-17, 21-9; Sai Praneet / Chopra bt Bennet Antony / Alwin Francis 23-21, 12-21, 21-17.
Women: Singles: Final: Sindhu (AAI) bt Neha Pandit (AAI) 21-14, 22-20. Doubles: Final: Aparna Balan / Prajakta Sawant bt Thulasi / Sindhu 21-8, 19-21, 21-12. Semifinals: Aparna / Prajakta bt Anjali Kalita / Meenakshi Nair 21-10, 21-19; Thulasi / Sindhu bt Pradnya Gadre / Jyotshna 21-12, 18-21, 21-15.
Mixed Doubles: Final: Vishnu / Aparna bt Chopra / Prajakta 21-13, 21-19. Semifinals: Vishnu / Aparna bt Suraj / Megha Merin Ninan 22-20, 21-15; Chopra / Prajakta bt Dewalkar / Pradnya 21-19, 21-17. Quarterfinals: Vishnu / Aparna bt Srikanth / Jyotshna 21-16, 14-21, 21-10; Suraj / Megha bt Guru Prasad / Nischitha 21-11, 27-25; Dewalkar / Pradnya bt Alwin Francis / Shruti Kurien 21-19, 21-23, 21-17; Chopra / Prajakta bt Adarsh Kumar / Varsha Belawadi 16-21, 21-15, 21-12.
Keywords: All-India badminton