Tata Open: Ruthvika wins women’s title, Lakshya stunned in final

Ruthvika Shivani Gadde defeated Riya Mukerjee 21-12, 23-21 to win the women's title at the Tata Open, while Lakshya Sen was defeated by Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin 21-15, 14-21, 19-21.

Ruthvika Shivani Gadde won the opening game 21-12, and then saved three game points in the second set to prevail 23-21 and clinch the women's title at the Tata Open.   -  M. Moorthy

In an exciting 37-minute women’s final, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde got the better of a very crafty Riya Mukerjee in straight games to the women's title at the Tata Open India International badminton on Sunday.

Ruthvika won the opening game 21-12, and then saved three game points in the second set to prevail 23-21.

In the first game, neither player could take a lead of more than one point till it was 10-all when Ruthvika went on a rampage to win seven consecutive points. That surge helped her wrap up the game in just 15 minutes with a drop that was netted by Riya.

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Ruthvika, whose global ranking has dipped from 48 at the beginning of last year to 119 due to a six-month injury-forced lay-off, led 10-7 in the second when Riya bounced back.

Riya jumped to a 17-14 lead and went up to game point at 20-17 before Ruthvika saved the three game points to draw level. Riya had another game point at 21-20 but couldn’t wrap up the game. Ruthvika won the next two points to hold her first match point which she made count with a smash winner from close to the net.

Lakshya stunned

Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin defeated Lakshya Sen 15-21 , 21-14 , 21-19 to win the men’s title.

Thammasin, who had knocked out former national champion and top seed Sourabh Verma in the opening round, went on to defeat Sen in a well-contested men’s singles final that lasted 80 minutes.

Lakshya, the world no. 3 junior, who won the India International Series 2017 in Hyderabad last week, took control of the opening game from 13-12 with a string of smashes and drops even as the Thai found his smashes bulging the net.

But in the second game, Lakshya let go of a 12-10 lead by allowing the Thai to reel in eight points on the trot which put Thammasin 18-12 in front. Although the Indian stopped the spree, the leeway was enough for the Thai to pocket the game and force the decider.

In the last game, the two opponents went neck to neck till 18-all when Lakshya, who faltered in a tight net dribble to fall behind, was beaten by a powerful smash by the Thai who went to match-point.

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The Indian retrieved the serve to narrow it down to 19-20 but then was drawn close to the net by the Thai who finished off the match with yet another smash to mid-court.

The results (finals):

Men: Sitthikom Thammasin (Tha) bt Lakshya Sen 15-21 , 21-14 , 21-19.
Doubles: Maneepong Jongjit & Nanthakarn Yordphaisong (Tha) bt Aaron Chia & Wooi Yik Soh (Mas) 21-6, 21-9.

Women: Ruthvika Shivani Gadde bt Riya Mukherjee 21-12, 23-21.
Doubles: Ng Tsz Yau & Yeung Nga Ting (Hkg) bt Ng Wing Yung & Yuen Sin Ying (Hkg) 23-25, 21-14 , 21-19.

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