Sindhu wins Syed Modi International badminton titleLucknow January 23, 2022 16:03 IST
Men’s singles final between Arnaud Merkle and Lucas Claerbout was declared a ‘No Match’ after one of the finalists tested positive for COVID-19.
P. V. Sindhu won the title with expected ease, by doing just enough to end her title drought.
Excitement was at a premium on the final day of the $150,000 Syed Modi India International badminton that produced one-sided matches. As expected, World No. 7 Sindhu ended the spectacular run of Malvika Bansod 21-13, 21-16 for her first World Tour title since the 2018 BWF World Tour Finals.
The all-France men’s final was a non-starter after Arnaud Merkle tested positive for Covid. Since the other finalist, compatriot Lucas Claerbout was also his roommate, he was also withdrawn from the final for being a primary contact of Merkle.
As per the BWF guidelines, the final was declared a 'No match'. “The finalists will get the ranking points and the prize-money assigned for reaching the final,” as per a technical official.
Sindhu, without a BWF title since the world crown in 2019, indeed broke the title-jinx but given the poor quality of field, she will be far from elated. After a spate of withdrawals owing to injuries and Covid positive tests, Sindhu was expected to go all the way and she did.
Against the young, left-handed Malvika, Sindhu was never under any pressure after establishing leads of 7-0 in the first game and 17-8 in the second. At the same time, a lot of credit is due to young Malvika for winning some very fine points, mainly because of her defensive abilities.
There were times when Malvika surprised Sindhu with her retrieving abilities and play at the net but overall, the champion was comfortably ahead during the 35-minute final.
Assured of the mixed doubles title, India lost the men’s doubles and women’s doubles finals to Malaysia’s lower-ranked pairs.
The results (final, Indians unless stated): Men: Arnaud Merkle (Fra) versus Lucas Claerbout (Fra) - No match. Doubles: Man Wei Chong & Kai Wun Tee (Mas) bt Krishna Prasad & Vishnuvardhan Goud 21-18, 21-15.
Women: P. V. Sindhu bt Malvika Bansod 21-13, 21-16. Doubles: Anna Ching Yik Cheong & Teoh Mei Xing (Mas) bt Treesa Jolly & P. Gayatri 21-12, 21-13.
Mixed doubles: Ishan Bhatnagar & Tanisha Crasto bt Nagendra Babu & G. Srivedya 21-16, 21-12.