Mumbai: Top seed H S Prannoy and unseeded junior shuttler Ruthvika Shivani Gadde clinched the men's and women's singles titles respectively in the USD 25,000 Tata Open India International Challenge badminton tournament, here on Sunday.
Prannoy, the India no. 4 and world no. 22, defeated a fighting R M V Gurusaidutt - ranked 45th in the world - in a thrilling men's singles final 21-16 20-22 21-17 that lasted 64 minutes at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) courts.
Earlier, rising 17-year-old Hyderabad shuttler Ruthvika, continued her impressive run by stunning fourth seed Arundhati Pantawane, on a comeback trail after a shoulder injury, 19-21 21-18 21-14 in the 50-minute long women's singles final.
It was the second time that Ruthvika had beaten her more experienced rival, having come out trumps in their previous meeting in the senior ranking tournament at Gandhidam in October.
In the men's final, Prannoy subdued the never-say-die Gurusaidutt after an intense battle between two trainees of the Hyderabad-based Gopichand Academy that thrilled the crowd.
Both shuttlers fought for every point with Prannoy superior in his smashing and in net play and his rival defending well and even saving a match point in the second game when he was down 19-20.
In the first game, Prannoy came from behind after he trailed 10-13 to draw level and then kept his nose ahead to win the game with some telling smashes and net dribbles.
The second game saw the lead changing hand constantly before the two players were deadlocked at 19-all when Prannoy surged ahead to hold a match point when Guru smashed wide.
However, Guru drew level and then won the game by taking the next two points following unforced errors committed by Prannoy.
The third game too saw the two players fighting tooth and nail. Guru held a one point lead at the change of ends before Prannoy quickened the pace, drew his rival to the net and then came up with easy 'kills' when the shuttle was lifted by Guru.
Prannoy took a 17-14 lead but Guru hung on to reduce it to 17-16 but then managed just one more point as his opponent raced to the title with some excellent net drops.
In the women's title contest, Ruthvika, who had toppled third seed Salil Rane in straight games in the semi finals yesterday, once again showed that she is a player to watch out for in future.
The young trainee at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad and runner-up at the last junior nationals, showed her fighting qualities as she came from behind to subdue Arundhati, the reigning National Games champion who also trains at the academy of India's national coach.
"This is my biggest title at the seniors level. I did not expect to win, but everyone else expected it which added to the pressure on me," said the B.Com student of St Anne's College in Hyderabad.
Results (all finals):
Women's singles: Ruthvika Shivani Gadde bt 4-Arundhati Pantawane 19-21 21-18 21-14
Women's doubles: Aparna Balan/Prajakta Sawant bt J Meghana/K Maneesha 21-13 10-21 21-13
Mixed doubles: 3-Mani Attri/N Sikki Reddy bt 1-Akshay Dewalkar/Pradnya Gadre 21-19 19-21 21-10
Men's singles: 1-H S Prannoy bt 4-R M V Gurusaidutt 21-16 20-22 21-17
Men's doubles: 1-Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy bt Shlok Ramachandran/Sanyam Shukla 21-15 21-15.