Yunus Alamsyah’s acrobatic retrieving and confidence in mastering Tommy Sugiarto over 60 thrilling minutes for the men’s title was the main course on offer at the Tata Open International Challenge 2010. India’s P C Thulasi had whetted the crowd’s appetite with a sensational women’s singles victory over another Indonesian, Fransiska Ratnasari. Both champions earned $ 1125 each as prize money.
Alamsyah’s classy duel with fellow Indonesian Sugiarto brought out the beauty of badminton as a spectator sport. Indian fans have one more name to cheer for, 19-year-old Thulasi, whose conquest of a top-quality Indonesian is a pointer to the trail blazed by gutsy Saina Nehwal on the world circuit.
Thrilled at pocketing her first seniors singles title, Thulasi said: “Saina’s results at the world level has shown us the way to tackle players from top nations. We know they can are beatable,” said the Kerala player, employed with ONGC and currently based at the P Gopichand’s Academy in Hyderabad.
She had trained at the academy during preparations for the Commonwealth Games, then joined in October. “The continuous matches and hard training there has helped,” said Thulasi, whose performance against Fransiska was remarkable for composure in drops from back rourt and wristy smashes.
The Indonesian, singles runner-up at the Indian Open last week, is an opponent worthy of respect from the unseeded Indian Figuring in a singles final, Thulasi showed the temperament to catch up each time the top seed inched ahead in the first game, led 4-2 in the second and took the road to victory.
Alamsyah faced a challenge in the shape of first game loss to fellow Indonesian Sugiarto. The response was like a typhoon lashing the court with the top seed putting on a mix of defence and offence, his speciality being spectacular retrieving. The champion’s performance served as a demonstration of competitive play at world levels in front of an Indian audience.
Sugiarto was numbed by this show of force from the top seed, ranked world number 23 in IBF list, one step ahead of India’s P Kashyap.
Alamsyah’s reflexes at the net and in offence had proved a potent combination for India’s Anup Sridhar in the second men’s semifinals on Friday night.
India’s highest ranked player in the women’s draw, Trupti Murgunde fell to number one Fransiska in another semifinal, trying hard to take charge but went down to the top seed in two games. The $ 15,000 event is organised by Prakash Padukoe Badminton Academy and held under the auspices of Badminton Federation of India and Maharashtra Badminton Association.
Results (all finals)
Women singles: P C Thulasi (Ind) bt Fransiska Ratnasari (Ina) 21-15, 21-13. Women doubles: 1-Savitree Amitapai/Somsri Nessara (Tha) bt Nitchaon Jindapol/Pattharaporn Jindapol (Tha) 21-6, 21-18.
Men singles: 1-Yunus Alamsyah (Ina) bt 5-Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) 11-21, 21-13, 21-17. Men's doubles: Joko Riyadi/Ukikasah Yoga (Ina) bt 3-Akshay Dewalkar/Arun Vishnu (Ind) 24-22, 21-16.
Mixed doubles: Patipat Chalardchaleam/Savitree Amitapai (Tha) bt 2-Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan (Ind) 21-10, 21-15.
Men semifinals: 1-Yunus Alamsyah (Ina) bt 8-Anup Sridhar (Ind) 25-23, 21-9. Women semifinals: 1-Fransiska Ratnasari (Ina) bt 4-Trupti Murgunde (Ina) 21-10, 21-11.