Srikanth, Thulasi win titles in PSPB Inter-Unit tournament

New Delhi: Young shuttler K Srikanth of IOCL clinched the men`s singles title, while P C Thulasi took the women`s singles crown in the 35th PSPB Inter-Unit badminton tournament here today.

Second seed Srikanth, who reached the quarterfinals of the Japan Open last week, notched up a 21-19 21-16 victory over third seed Saurabh Varma at the Siri Fort sports complex.

In the women`s singles, third seed Thulasi held her nerves in a difficult situation to register a hard-fought 23-21 21-15 win over top seed Arundhati Panthawane.

Srikanth didn`t have it easy as Sourabh gave him a tough fight. They were engaged in some close net exchanges intermixed with some hard hitting rallies.

However, in the end it was Srikanth`s ability to reach and return most smashes worked in his favour and he won the title in straight games.

"I m happy with the win. It was not a very easy match. But I was in control. In the second game, I was a little tired but then it`s okay. I am satisfied with my game," he said.

After a tough fight in the first game, the second game became more engaging as Srikanth led 11-9 at the break. The 20-year-old further extended the lead to 14-12 and with Sourabh faltering, it was 17-12 in Srikanth`s favour.

Sourabh exerted himself but his strokes lacked accuracy and Srikanth took a 19-13 lead before eventually wrapping it up with a smash. Sourabh saved three match points to make it 16-20 before Srikanth hit out to pocket the title.

Sourabh said he had injured his little finger on the right hand yesterday and could not give his best in the final.

"I had a deep cut in my finger during Japan Open. I hurt the same area again yesterday, so I found it difficult to grip the racquet today," he said.

The men`s doubles final also witnessed some fierce rallies but the pair of Arun Vishnu and K Srikanth (IOCL) were too strong for Pranav Chopra and Tarun Kona (ONGC).

The IOCL pair won 21-12 21-18.

The tournament concluded with a prize distribution ceremony, which was attended by H C Nagar, V K Mahendru and the chief guest Veena Swarup.