Home2017Indian badminton history written in Lucknow

Indian badminton history written in Lucknow

There were a couple of firsts for hosts India, a rising badminton power in this region, as Indian shuttlers nailed three titles in this year's USD120,000 Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold which ended at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday.

National champion B. Sameer Verma, the eighth seed, outplayed ninth seed B. Sai Praneeth in straight sets – coming back from deep waters in both sets – to win a 44-minute battle 21-19, 21-16 for his first Grand Prix Gold title.

Sameer was runners-up in last year's Hong Kong Super Series where he lost to home favourite Angus Ng Ka Long. 

The 22-year-old, ranked 35 in the world, kept his cool under pressure and did not rattle under pressure although he was down 11-5 at one stage in both sets. Sitting on the sidelines as coach was his elder brother Sourabh Verma, himself an international.

Sai Praneeth, seeded nine in Lucknow and ranked No 36 in the world, had toppled defending champion K. Srikanth in the semi-final.

As expected the women's singles title was won by India's P.V. Sindhu, 22, who was hardly stretched by Indonesia's 17-year-old Gregoria Mariska in her 21-14, 21-13 win in only 30 minutes for her first Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold title. 

The singles champions pocketed USD9,000 while the losers went home USD4,560 richer.
However, the talk of the town was India's all-India final in the mixed doubles with seconds seeds Pranaav Jerry Chopra-N.Sikki Reddy who stopped unseeded compatriots and giant-killers B. Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa 22-20, 21-10 in 40 minutes and USD9,480 richer for their efforts.

The champions staged a remarkable fightback from 11-17 down in the first set and eventually won 22-20 which gave Jerry Chopra and Reddy the boost and confidence in the second set. It is their first Grand Prix Gold title.

Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa, playing only their second international tournament since being paired, knocked out top seeds and 2012 London Olympics bronze medallists Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen 19-21, 21-18, 21-18 in the semi-finals.

Ponnappa and Sikki also featured in the women's doubles final but the Indian combo could not stop top seeds and Rio Olympics silver medal winners Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen from taking the title with a 21-16, 21-18 but earned the cheers from the home fans for their gallant fight.

Top seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen won the men's doubles title with a 21-14, 21-15 win over Taiwan's Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po-han.


Sameer Verma (Ind) beat B. Sai Praneeth (Ind) 21-19, 21-16

Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen (Den) beat Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han (Tpe) 21-14, 21-15

P.V. Sindhu (Ind) beat Gregoria Mariska (Ina) 21-13, 21-14

Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen (Den) beat Ashwini Ponnappa-N. Sikki Reddy (Ind) 21-16, 21-18

Mixed doubles
Pranaav Jerry Choprsa-N. Sikki Reddy (Ind) beat B. Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa (Ind) 22-20, 21-10


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