Sindhu, Srikanth win titles in Nationals Championship
New Delhi: Young shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth notched up contrasting victories in the summit clashes to clinch the women`s and men`s titles respectively at the 78th Senior National Badminton Championships here on Monday.
It was the second national title for World Championship bronze medallist Sindhu after she registered a straight-game victory over Rituparna Das in the women`s singles summit clash which lasted for half an hour.
However, it was a maiden title for Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold winner Srikanth, who dug deep into his reserves to get the better off RMV Gurusaidutt in a 40-minute men`s singles contest.
While second seed Sindhu, who is currently ranked 11th in the world, defeated Rituparna 21-11 21-17, Srikanth beat Guru 21-13 22-20 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
Defending mixed doubles champions Aparna Balan and Arun Vishnu retained their title, while Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa regained the women`s doubles crown for the first time since 2009.
In the men`s doubles competition, top seeds Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar clinched the title with a 21-19 21-17 win over second seeds Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B in a 39-minute contest.
Second seeds Arun and Aparna defeated top seeds Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-10 21-17 within half an hour, while second seeded pair of Jwala and Ashwini prevailed over top seeds Pradnya Gadre and Siki Reddy N 21-17 21-16 in a 34-minute match.
Sindhu was the runaway favourite to lift the women's singles title and the Hyderabadi girl did it in style as she didn't let the game to slip at anytime and was in full control throughout the 30 minute encounter.
Sindhu opened up a 3-1 lead and even though Rituparna caught up soon, the Hyderabadi girl broke off at 6-6 with a eight-point burst and didn't look back after that as she comfortably pocketed the first game.
Rituparna gave a better fight in the second game when she held the lead initially at 3-0 and 11-7. But Sindhu was a difficult opponent to tame as she soon reeled off four straight points to catch up with Ripuparna and then marched ahead to 18-13.
The U-19 national champion narrowed down the gap to 17-18 but Sindhu didn't waste anymore time and wrapped up the game quicky to regain the title which he had won in 2011.
The men's singles final was a lot closer encounter. Both players began on a cautious note and it was Srikanth who put the foot on the accelerator first.
He opened up a five point lead at the first break and then just built on the advantage to draw first blood.
It looked like the second game was also going into the same direction when Srikanth opened six point lead at 14-8. But Guru wasn't ready to give up tamely and slowly clawed back by prolonging rallies and making his opponent to work harder.
However, it could not force the match into a decider as Srikanth raised his game to clinch three straight points and carve his name on the national title.
"I can't express my feelings now. I dreamt about winning the national crown ever since I started playing badminton. For me this is just a start of my career and I aim to win many more titles in the future," Srikanth said after the finals.
Women's singles: 2-PV Sindhu (PSPB) bt 15-Rituparna Das (AP) 21-11, 21-17
Men's singles: 5-K Srikanth (PSPB) bt 2-RMV Guru Sai Dutt (PSPB) 21-13, 22-20
Women's doubles: 2-Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa (PSPB) bt 1-Pradnya Gadre/N Sikki Reddy (AAI) 21-17, 21-16.
Men's doubles: 1-Pranaav Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar (PSPB/AI) bt 2-Manu Atri/B Sumeet Reddy (AAI/AP) 21-19, 21-17 Mixed Doubles: 2-Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan (PSPB) bt 1-K Tarun/Ashiwini Ponnappa (PSPB) 21-10, 21-17.