National Badminton: Saina, Prannoy emerge champions

Champions Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy with coach Pullela Gopichand (Image credit-Twitter)

Nagpur: Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy emerged as the winners after beating PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth respectively at the 82nd National Badminton Championships in Nagpur on Wednesday.

Saina used her experience to outplay the Olympic silver medalist 21-17, 27-25 in a high-octane final that lasted for 54 minutes.
“I am surprised with the way I played today. I moved well and picked Sindhu’s difficult shots,”¬†said Saina after winning the title.

The entire crowd at the Divisional Sports Complex supported both the ace shuttlers-Saina and Sindhu but eventually it was the 27-year-old who went on to become the winner as she outplayed her World Championship silver medalist in straight sets to clinch the title.

World no 11 HS Prannoy, got the better of the top seeded World no 2 Kidambi Srikanth 21-15, 16-21, 21-7 in an epic clash that lasted for 49 minutes. Prannoy, who had lost to Srikanth in the semi-final of the French Open Super Series some time ago got his revenge as he won the men’s singles title on Wednesday.

Before this, both Srikanth and Prannoy had faced each other four times with the current French Open champion winning on three occasions. Prannoy just had one victory over Srikanth, which was way back at the 2011 Tata Open.

The 24-year-old Srikanth was also on a 13-match winning and has been in great form this year. Winning four titles in five finals speaks volumes about his talent and calibre but on Wednesday, it was Prannoy who reigned supreme over the Guntur lad.

After his grand victory over Srikanth, Prannoy, in an interaction with PTI said, “It means a lot. It came at the right time for me. I have been playing this event. It is great that I could beat Srikanth in the final. I have been playing well before this tournament and hope to do well in future.”

In the mixed doubles category, Ashwini Ponappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy defeated Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy 21-9, 20-22, 21-17 to win the title. However, joy wasn’t short-lived for Ashwini along with N Sikki Reddy, she also clinched the women’s doubles title, defeating Prajakta Sawant and Sanyogita Ghorpade 21-14, 21-14.

In the men’s doubles final, top seeded Satwik and Chirag Shetty, despite winning the first game couldn’t win the title as they went down to the second seeded duo of B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri 15-21, 22-20, 25-23, who emerged victorious.

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