Lucknow: Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu eased past young compatriot Malvika Bansod in straight games to win her second women’s singles title at the Syed Modi International badminton tournament here on Sunday.
Playing in a depleted field due to multiple COVID-19 cases, top seed Sindhu hardly broke her sweat to get past Bansod 21-13 21-16 in a lop-sided title contest.
The final lasted just 35 minutes.
It was former world champion Sindhu’s second Syed Modi title after having annexed the BWF World Tour Super 300 event in 2017.
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Before that, seventh-seeded Indians Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto clinched the mixed doubles title with a straight-game win over compatriots T Hema Nagendra Babu and Srivedya Gurazada.
Bhatnagar and Crasto inflicted a 21-16 21-12 on the unseeded Indian duo in the summit clash that ended in 29 minutes.
Earlier, the men’s singles final between Arnaud Merkle and Lucas Claerbout was declared a ‘No Match’ after one of the finalists tested positive for COVID-19.
Eight seeds Anna Ching Yik Cheong and Teoh Mei Xing of Malaysia defeated seventh seeds Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand 21-12 21-13 to win the women’s doubles crown.
The story was the same for the Indians in the men’s doubles final as the sixth-seeded pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud were outclassed 18-21 15-21 by eighth seeds Man Wei Chong and Kai Wun Tee of Malaysia. It was expected to be a one-sided women’s singles match between world number seven Sindhu and young Bansod, ranked 84th in the world, and it turned out to be exactly that.
Sindhu used her vast experience and skills to great effect as Bansod found it extremely difficult to adjust to her opponent’s game from the onset.
The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist took off from the word go and raced to a 7-0 lead in no time. The ace shuttler used her height and reach to great effect to increase her lead to 11-1 at the break.
After the break, Bansod tried to up her game and collected a few points to close the gap but it was no match for a much superior Sindhu, who closed out the first game with consummate ease.
”From the first game I just went for the win and it was important for me that every point mattered. Even though I was leading I didn’t take it easy, maybe, couple of points I made unforced errors but I made sure I came back into the game and thought that I should be consistent,” Sindhu said after the match. The second game, however, produced a better contest with Bansod trying her best to lift her game, and she did that too, but it was not enough to challenge Sindhu’s class.
Sindhu used her height to mix her smashes with pinpoint drop shots, which Bansod failed to counter as the Olympic medallist raced to a 11-4 lead at the break.
Sindhu continued in the same vein even though Bansod tried her best to forge a comeback and in the process secured four points on the trot to reduce the deficit to 17-12.
Bansod managed to pick up four more points but lacked the temperament and class as Sindhu closed out the contest without any fuss. ”Overall, it’s been a good week, good matches, so I am happy with the win,” Sindhu said. The Olympic star lauded India’s bench strength and Bansod for her spirited show in the tournament. ”In the whole week each match was important because even though I was playing with Indians I could see good talented youngsters who are coming up and are really doing well,” Sindhu said.
”It was good she (Bansod) is an upcoming player and she is doing really well. She had some good matches in quarterfinals and semifinals. She played well and there were some good rallies.” Sindhu described her win over Supanida Katethong in the quarterfinals here as a ”sweet revenge” over her Thai rival, who ousted her in the Indian Open semifinals last week.
”I think it was sweet revenge. In India Open I lost to Supanida and here I won against her in the quarterfinals.” Sindhu said she is at happy space with her game and is looking forward to winning more laurels for the country in the future.
”My game is perfectly alright. Last week in the Indian Open it wasn’t my day and I think it happens. ”That day matters who plays well and gives their best comes out winner. But I played with her (Supanida) again here and it was sweet revenge that I won against her this time. So I am happy with my form.”
”Every medal means a lot to me because there are a lot of memories with these and I am sure and hope I will get many more medals looking forward,” Sindhu concluded.