Indian Badminton Weekly #21: Title Rush In Lagos

The Indian badminton contingent had a memorable outing at the Lagos International 2015 last week as the nation’s shuttlers scooped up titles in singles as well as doubles at the Nigerian tournament. B Sai Praneeth who was the top seed, did justice to his billing as he went on to capture the men’s singles crown. In men’s doubles, the second-seeded pairing of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy emerged victorious while in women’s doubles, N Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre reigned supreme.

sai_praneeth

Indian badminton star B Sai Praneeth captured the men’s singles crown at the Lagos International

Sikki Reddy, however, missed out on a chance for double glory as she and partner Tarun Kona ended up as the runners-up in the mixed doubles section.

The Yonex Open Chinese Taipei 2015 was also held last week where the Indian challenge ended early, despite the presence of Kidambi Srikanth and PV Sindhu. Here’s presenting our weekly recap of Indian badminton.

3 titles for Indian badminton players in Lagos

B Sai Praneeth was in sizzling form throughout the Lagos International 2015 as he did not even drop a game en route to winning the title. The top seed got the better of fifth-seeded Adrian Dziolko of Poland 21-14, 21-11 in the final.

Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy were also in equally good form at this International Challenge event. They too did not drop a game and won the title after upsetting the top-seeded Polish pair of Adam Cwalina and Przemyslaw Wacha 21-17, 21-17 in the summit clash. Attri and Reddy beat compatriots Tarun Kona and K Dilshad in the semi-finals.

N Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre overcame some stiff resistance to lay their hands on the women’s doubles trophy. Having stunned the second-seeded English pair of Heather Olver and Lauren Smith in the semis, they overcame the Turkish duo of Ozge Bayrak and Neslihan Yigit 21-19, 21-23, 21-15 in the final.

Sikki Reddy, however, was not so lucky in the mixed doubles competition. The second-seeded duo of Reddy and Tarun Kona lost 19-21, 7-21 to unseeded Polish team of Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba in the final.

sikki_reddy

(From left): Tarun Kona, N Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre display their medals at the Lagos International (courtesy: Sikki Reddy Twitter)

Top Indian badminton stars falter at Chinese Taipei Open

Much was expected from the Indian badminton brigade at the Yonex Open Chinese Taipei 2015 which was a Grand Prix Gold category tournament. However, the country’s top shuttlers succumbed to early defeats in this tournament.

PV Sindhu who was the only Indian in the women’s singles category, crashed out in the second round. The 20-year-old was defeated 15-21, 17-21 by the third-seeded local star Tai Tzu Ying. Sindhu had started the tournament with an easy win over Indonesian Lindaweni Fanetri.

It was the same fate for India’s other top badminton exponent, Kidambi Srikanth in men’s singles. The third seed suffered a shock 19-21, 18-21 defeat to Indonesian Ihsan Maulana Mustofa in Round 2. Mustofa is currently ranked 70 places below Srikanth in the latest BWF rankings. Earlier, Srikanth had beaten local hope Tzu Wei Wang in the first round.

The other Indians in men’s singles section could not fare any better. Sameer Verma had the tough proposition of facing the top-ranked Chen Long in the second round. Verma went down 19-21, 16-21. RMV Gurusaidutt was the third Indian in this section who lost 21-23, 17-21 to Indonesian qualifier Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the first round.

Rankings update:

B Sai Praneeth was the biggest mover in the latest BWF singles rankings released this Thursday. After conquering the Lagos International, Sai Praneeth jumped three places to be placed at 31st. RMV Gurusaidutt also moved up one spot to 44th while Ajay Jayaram dropped one place to 32nd.

The top Indian male shuttlers remained static in the latest rankings. While Kidambi Srikanth held on to his 3rd place, Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy maintained their 10th and 12th places respectively.

In women’s singles rankings, PV Sindhu gained one place to be ranked 13th while Saina Nehwal was static at 2nd.

By virtue of their title win at Lagos, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy broke into the top 20 of the men’s doubles rankings for the first time. They are placed at 20th while India’s second men’s doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar dropped one place to be 33rd.

Lagos International titlists N Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre made a jump of 6 places to be ranked 36th in the latest women’s doubles rankings. Meanwhile, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa too gained one spot to be ranked 12th.




For Sports Updates