Top Indian badminton stars, Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap were at the top of their game on Sunday. They won the finals of the Syed Modi India International Masters in their respective categories. Saina defeated Carolina Marin of Spain in the women’s singles category. In a marathon match which lasted for 79 minutes, the world no. 3 took the match 19-21, 25-23, 21-16.
In men’s singles, Parupalli Kashyap upset top seed and comrade Kidambi Srikanth to win in straight sets, with a score of 23-21, 23-21.
Women’s singles finals: Saina retains her crown
The reigning World Champion from Spain, Carolina Marin made a strong start in the finals and made Saina move all around the court. Eventually, Marin won the first game 21-19. The second game was an even affair with Saina threatening to break ahead but the fiesty Spaniard staying with her and not allowing the Indian to take a lead. Finally it took a cool head from Saina as she saved two match points and was eventually able to shake off Marin to win the second game by 25-23.
With the match evenly poised, it was anybody’s match with both players tied at 3-3 in the deciding game. It was then that the champion in Saina came to the fore. Benefiting from a couple of Marin errors, Saina went on the offense to take six points on the trot. A crucial lead that Saina was able to maintain throughout the third game.
What stood out for Saina was her immaculate positioning on the court and her exemplary footwork. She always seemed to be a step ahead of her Spanish opponent and was able to move her around the court relentlessly. A supremely fit Saina also got the better of Marin in the longer rallies and her ability to keep retrieving the shuttle eventually frustrated the reigning World Champion. The Spaniard kept fighting though and came as close as 20-16. But a lucky net cord and a back hand put away by Saina had the crowd in raptures and Saina’s mother (who was in the stands) in tears.
So Saina was able to come back with a better game plan to retain the Syed Modi championship. Like a true champion, when the going got tough, the tough Saina took her opponent to the cleaners.
Men’s singles: Kashyap stuns Srikanth in summit clash
Indian players dominated the men’s singles category at the Syed Modi masters and it was Parupalli Kashyap who emerged as the champion. Kashyap defeated his higher ranked opponent Kidambi Srikanth in straight sets. At no point was there more than a three-point difference between the two top Indian shuttlers.
Kashyap took the first game at 23-21, smashing hard down the line on game point, thereby leaving no chance for Srikanth to return. The second game was similar. At 19-20, a long rally ended with Kashyap smashing hard at the net to level scores. Three points later, Srikanth lost a point in similar fashion and the match to P. Kashyap.
Mixed Doubles: Indian pair finish second
Manu Attri and K Maneesha put up stiff resistance in their Final against Riky Widianto & Puspita Richi Dili of Indonesia but lost 17-21, 17-21
Previous Match Reports of Syed Modi Grand Prix
Read all about the progress of Saina and Kashyap in our match reports below.
Finals: Men: P. Kashyap bt K. Srikanth 23-21, 23-21.
Doubles: Mathias Boe & Carsten Mogensen (Den) bt Vladimir Ivanov & Ivan Sozonov (Rus) 21-9, 22-20.
Women: Saina Nehwal bt Carolina Marin (Esp) 19-21, 25-23, 21-16.
Doubles: Amelia Alicia Anscelly & Fie Cho Soong (Mas) bt Vivian Kah Mun Hoo & Khe Wei Woon (Mas) 22-20, 21-15.
Mixed doubles: Riky Widianto & Puspita Richi Dili (Ina) bt Manu Attri & K. Maneesha 21-17, 21-17.