NO SURPRISES

ON EXPECTED LINES. Men's doubles winners Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar.-K. MURALI KUMAR

There were no surprises in the doubles as Rupesh Kumar of PSPB and Sanave Thomas of Kerala successfully defended their men's title, beating arch rivals Jaseel P. Ismail and V. Diju, while Jwala Gutta claimed a double, retaining the women's title with Shruti Kurien and mixed doubles title, with V. Diju. What should be worrying for the BAI is the lack of new talent in doubles.

The Indonesian coach Hadi Sugiyanto's efforts to give the established pairs the direction have been praiseworthy, but he was of the view that India would have it tough in the team events if there's no adequate bench strength in the doubles. The BAI has promised to help out by organising more camps for doubles and help in identifying young talent. But it's a long road ahead.

Women's champions Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurien.-

The juniors promised much at the Nationals, but fell short when it came to delivering. At the start of the Nationals, P. Kashyap, the Junior National champion, put things in perspective. "We are not in awe of them (the seniors), but the difference is that they have the experience." That swung the fortunes the other way when the juniors were pitted against seasoned players.

Kashyap, one of the most improved juniors in the country with an All India ranking tournament (Indore) title under his belt, did well to extend Nikhil Kanetkar in the quarterfinals before going down 8-15, 10-15, 11-15.