Sourabh, Arundhati emerge champs
Badminton Natl-ranking meet
Petroleum’s Sourabh Varma and Arundhati Pantawane of Maharashtra clinched the men’s and women’s singles titles in the ONGC all-India Senior-ranking badminton tournament at the KBA courts here on Saturday.
Second seed Varma registered a 21-17, 21-15 victory over top seed Sai Praneeth of Petroleum in the men’s final while fifth seed Pantawane beat fourth-seeded Petroleum’s Tanvi Lad 21-16, 22-20 in the women’s title decider.
In the men’s summit clash, Varma put Praneeth under pressure from the first game itself as he racked up a 12-8 lead. The rallies were long and hotly contested for as the crowd really got involved in the match. Varma unleashed some cracking smashes, finding vacant areas on the court, to frustrate Praneeth.
The 20-year-old maintained the lead by a margin of two points until 19-17 after which he forced Praneeth into playing some loose shots at the net to claim the game 21-17.
In the second game, Praneeth justified his top billing as he took a 10-7 lead. The confidence in his game coupled with his all-round movement on the court opened up the possibility of the match going to the decider.
The drop shots at the net were catching Varma off-guard, but he came right back in to the contest with a flurry of point winning smashes and excellent netplay.
After levelling at 14-14, Varma surged ahead to pocket the crown 21-15.† The lad from Dhar in Madhya Pradesh was happy with his performance. “I was patient with my shots and made him (Praneeth) play to my game. I didn’t give him many chances to attack,’’ he added.
In the men’s doubles, fourth seeds Alwin Francis and V Diju annexed the crown with a 10-21, 21-18, 21-10 victory over second seeded Akshay Dewalkar and Pranav Jerry Chopra.
In the mixed doubles final, Petroleum’s Pranav Jerry Chopra and Manisha K overcame a mid-match stumble to defeat top seeds Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan of Kerala to claim the title.
Results (all finals, prefix denotes seedings): Men’s singles: 2-Sourabh Varma (Pet) bt 1-Sai Praneeth (Pet) 21-17, 21-15.
Doubles: 4-Alwin Francis/ V Diju (Ker/Pet) bt 2-Akshay Dewalkar/ Pranav Jerry Chopra (AI/Pet) 10-21, 21-18, 21-10.
Women’s singles: 5-Arundhati Pantawane (Mah) bt 4-Tanvi Lad (Pet) 21-16, 22-20.
Doubles: Manisha K/ Sanyogita Ghorpade (AP/AI) bt Arathi Sara Sunil/ Prajakta Sawant (Ker/Pet) 16-21, 23-21, 22-20.
Mixed Doubles: Pranav Jerry Chopra/ Manisha K (Pet) bt 1-Arun Vishnu/ Aparna Balan 21-15, 18-21, 22-20.†