Frenchmen Merkle, Claerbout in final
Malvika Bansod battled from the brink of defeat to set up a face-off with P.V. Sindhu in the final before unseeded players Arnaud Merkle and Lucas Claerbout turned the men’s title clash into an all-France affair in the $150,000 Syed Modi India International badminton tournament.
Though Saturday witnessed a number of matches that went the distance, Sindhu was required to spend only 13 minutes on the court against Evgeniya Kosetskaya. After Sindhu won the first game 21-11, the Russian girl gave up the match due to stomach pain.
From the other semifinal, Malvika faced unexpected resistance from Anupama Upadhyay. During the 66-minute match, Malvika was down a game and trailed 16-19 in the second before turning the script on its head, winning 19-21, 21-19, 21-7.
In the men’s semifinal, Mithun Manjunath did well to battle back from a game’s deficit to force the decider against Merkle. Thereafter, it was the Frenchman who simply blew the Indian away for a 21-19, 17-21, 21-9 victory.
The results (semifinals, Indians unless stated):
Men: Arnaud Merkle (Fra) bt Mithun Manjunath 21-19, 17-21, 21-9; Lucas Claerbout (Fra) bt Nhat Nguyen (Ire) 15-21, 21-18, 21-15; (Doubles): Krishna Prasad & Vishnuvardhan Goud bt Prem Singh Chouhan & Rajesh Verma 21-10, 21-9; Man Wei Chong & Tee Kai Wun (Mas) bt M. R. Arjun & Dhruv Kapila 21-16, 21-12.
Women: P.V. Sindhu bt Evgeniya Kosetskaya (Rus) 21-11 (retd.); Malvika Bansod bt Anupama Upadhyaya 19-21, 21-19, 21-7; (Doubles): Anna Ching Yik Cheong & Yeoh Mei Xing (Mas) bt Haritha Harinarayan & Ashna Roy 21-18, 21-7; Treesa Jolly & P. Gayathri bt Low Yeen Yuan & Valeree Siow (Mas) 17-21, 21-18, 21-16.
Mixed doubles: Ishan Bhatnagar & Tanisha Crasto bt M. R. Arjun & Treesa Jolly 18-21, 21-18, 21-11; T. Nagendra Babu & Srivedya Gurazada bt Akshan Shetty & Simran Singhi 15-21, 22-20, 21-9.
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