Mumbai: Top Indian junior and sixth seed Lakshya Sen was beaten in three games by Thailand's unseeded Sitthikom Thammasin who, thus, lifted the men's singles title in the USD 20,000 Tata Open India International Badminton Challenge here today.
Thammasin, who had knocked out former national champion and top seed Sourabh Verma in the opening round, went on to scalp Sen 15-21 21-14 21-19 in a well-contested men's singles final that lasted 80 minutes at the Cricket Club of India.
Earlier, in a largely one-sided all-India women's final eighth seed Ruthvika Shivani Gudde outsmarted unseeded compatriot Riya Mukherjee 21-12 23-21 in 40 minutes.
The men's final produced some fighting display from both the shuttlers with Sen, a losing quarter finalist in the last world junior championships, dominating the opening game before faltering in the last two after frittering away chances.
Almora-born Sen, a protegee of Prakash Padukone Academy in Bengaluru, came out second-best to the Thai opponent in the last two games in smash power and net duels.
The world no. 3 junior, who won the India International Series 2017 in Hyderabad last week, took control of the opening game from 13-12 with a string of smash winners and drops even as the Thai found his smashes bulging the net.
But in the second game, Sen let go of a 12-10 lead by allowing the Thai to reel in eight points on the trot which put Thammasin 18-12 in front. Although the Indian stopped the spree, the leeway was enough for the Thai to pocket the game and force the decider.
In the last game, the two opponents went neck to neck till 18-all when Sen, who faltered in a tight net dribble to fall behind, was beaten by a powerful smash by the Thai who went to match-point.
The Indian retrieved the serve to narrow it down to 19-20 but then was drawn close to the net by the Thai who finished off the match with yet another smash to mid-court.
In contrast, Ruthvika and Riya played a final that never rose above the ordinary barring some excitement in the second game when the former saved four game-points before wrapping it up for the title.
In the first game, neither player could take a lead of more than one point till it was 10-all when Ruthvika hit a purple patch and reeled off seven points in a row. That surge helped her wrap up the game in just 15 minutes with a drop that was netted by Riya.
Ruthvika, whose global ranking has dipped from 48 at the beginning of last year to 119 due to a six-month injury-forced lay-off, led 10-7 in the second when Riya bounced back.
With the Hyderabad-based Ruthvika lapsing into errors, Riya jumped to a 17-14 lead. The latter went up to game point at 20-17 before Ruthvika saved the three game points to draw level.
Riya had another game point at 21-20 but couldn't wrap up the game. Ruthvika won the next two points to hold her first match point which she made count with a smash winner from close to the net.
Results (all finals):
Women's singles: Ruthvika Shivani Gadde (India) bt Riya Mukherjee (India) 21-12, 23-21.
Women's doubles: Ng Tsz Yau/Yeung Nga Ting (Hong Kong) bt Ng Wing Yung/Yuen Sin Ying (Hong Kong) 23-25, 21-14, 21-19.
Men's singles: Sitthikom Thammasin (Thailand) bt Lakshya Sen (India) 15-21, 21-14, 21-19.
Men's doubles: Maneepong Jongjit/Nanthakarn Yordphaisong (Thailand) bt Aaron Chia/Wooi Yik Soh (Malaysia) 21-6, 21-9.
Mixed doubles: Hee Chun Mak/Yeung Nga Ting (Hong Kong) bt Chang Tak Ching/Ng Wing Yung (Hong Kong) 21-11, 17-21, 21-18.