Chetan Anand is undoubtedly one of the most complete player in the domestic circuit. And when the 26-year-old is on song there is nothing much his opponent can do but to bow out in admiration.
Air-India's 11th seed Sagar Chopda was on the receiving end on Friday as the third seed from Petroleum Sports Promotion Board bulldozed the youngster 21-16, 21-12 in exactly half and hour to move into the quarterfinals of the BSNL Senior National badminton championship at the Secretariat Sports Complex here.
Chopda, a former junior national champion, would have fancied his chances against an opponent he had run close at this same stage in the last nationals and the opening exchanges – which saw his run close to Chetan till 8-8 in the first set – would have raised his hopes further.
But then the former national champion simply cut lose winning nine points in a row with his short serve and half smash tactic to take a 18-8 lead. Though Chopda began mixing it up and even took seven points in a row to close the gap it was a bit too late.
The second game followed a similar trend with Chopda trying to play more near the net so as to keep a check on the half smashes of Chetan. The tactic worked for a while as the world number 29 took some time to adjust to the new game plan of his opponent.
But then Chetan is no pushover when it comes to net dribbles and once he managed to an upperhand there he was simply unstoppable. He now faces another promising youngster Ajay Jayaram of Maharashtra in the quarterfinals.
Jayaram, who had ran Chetan really close in the team championship earlier in the week, defeated the seasoned Sachin Ratti 21-12, 21-15 to make the grade.
In other matches, fifth seed Anand Pawar of Air-India survived a scare from 12th seed JBS Vidyadhar. Vidyadhar, who has been off late in the news for all the wrong reasons, fought back from a set deficit despite a partial tear in his right shoulder but his younger opponent just proved to pull it off with a late burst in the decider to win 21-13, 19-21, 21-15.
Top seed and defending champion Anup Sridhar of PSPB had no such trouble as he thrashed Utsav Mishra of Air India 21-16, 21-12 while seventh seed Rohan Castelino ended the dream run of 18-year-old Sourav Kapoor of Haryana with a hard fought 20-22, 21-11, 21-18 win.
In the women's singles, eight seed Shruti Kurien and fourth seed B R Meenakshi survived a scare from Dhanya Nair of Railways and Sampada Sahastrabuddhe of Maharashtra. Kurien was just two points away from exit before recovering to beat Nair
15-21, 21-15, 22-20. She now faces top seed Saina Nehwal, who thrashed Delhi's Chitralekha 21-7, 21-13.
Meenakshi also were down in the dumps – losing the first game and trailing in the second – but used her experience to overcome the unseeded Maharashtra shuttler 19-21, 21-19, 21-16 and set up a quarterfinal clash with Sayali Gokhale of Air-India.
Men's singles: Pre-quarterfinals: Anup Sridhar (PSPB) bt Utsav Mishra 21-16, 21-12; Ravinder Singh (UP) bt Rohit More (MAH) 21-8, 21-14; Nikhil Kanetkar (PSPB) bt Mayank Behl (RLY) 21-11, 21-16; Anand Pawar (AI) bt JBS Vidyadhar (AP) 21-13, 19-21, 21-15; Ajay Jayaram (MAH) bt Sachin Ratti (RLY) 21-12, 21-15; Chetan Anand (PSPB) bt Sagar Chopda (AI) 21-16, 21-10; Rohan Castelino (KTK) bt Saurav Kapoor (HAR) 20-22, 21-11, 21-18; P Kashyap (AP) bt Jishnu Sanyal (AI) 21-16, 21-12.
Men's singles third round: Anup Sridhar (PSPB) bt Yogesh Chauhan (BSNL) 21-9, 21-11; Ravinder Singh (UP) bt Govind Navelkar (GOA) 21-19, 21-13; Rohit More (MAH) bt C M Shashidhar (AP) 21-17, 21-18; Nikhil Kanetkar (PSPB) bt Ajit Wijetilekk (KTK) 22-20, 21-18; Mayank Behl (RLY) bt K Tanishak (BSNL) 21-23, 21-16, 21-15; Anand Pawar (AI) bt Sumit Dahiya (HAR) 21-11, 21-4; JBS Vidyadhar (AP) bt Anshuman Hazarika (ASM) 21-9, 13-21, 21-8; Sachin Ratti (RLY) bt Guru Sai Dutt (AP) 21-19, 21-18; Ajay Jayaram (MAH) bt Mohit Kamat (KTK) 21-14, 21-16; Sagar Chopda (AI) bt Anurag Sharma (UP) 21-18, 21-11; Chetan Anand (PSPB) bt Amey Joshi (RLY) 21-16, 21-9; Saurav Kapoor (HAR) bt Manish Rawat (MAH) 21-18, 21-12; Rohan Castelino (KTK) bt Amit Khadgi (RLY) 21-18, 21-12; Jishnu Sanyal (AI) bt Tanveer Gill (DLI) 21-11, 21-13; P Kashyap (AP) bt T Dinesh (TN) 21-10, 21-14.
Pre-quarterfinals: Saina Nehwal (PSPB) bt Chitralekha (DEL) 21-7, 21-13; Shruti Kurien (PSPB) bt Dhanya Nair (RLY) 15-21, 21-15, 22-20; B R Meenakshi (PSPB) bt Sampada Sahastrabuddhe (MAH) 19-21, 21-19, 21-16; Sayali Gokahle (AI) bt Arundhati Pantawane (MAH) 21-12, 21-12; Ruth Misha (KTK) bt Neha Pandit (AI) 21-14, 21-16; Aditi Mutatkar (PSPB) bt Parul Rawat (RLY) 21-6, 21-10; Aparna Balan (KER) bt Jwala Gutta (PSPB) 21-18, 21-14; Trupti Murgunde (PSPB) bt Riddhi Pajwani (RLY) 21-11, 21-11.
Third round: Saina Nehwal (PSPB) bt Ankita Shailesh (BHR) 21-0, 21-3; Chitraleka (DEL) bt Saumya Padhye (KTK) 21-13, 21-13; Shruti Kurien (PSPB) bt Neha Varma (UP) 21-12, 21-10; Dhanya Nair (RLY) bt Amrita Mukherjee (WB) 22-20, 17-21, 21-8; BR Meenakshi (PSPB) bt Ashwini Choudhary (AP) 21-9, 21-8; Sampada Sahastrabuddhe
(MAH) bt Ashwini Ponnappa (KAR) 17-21, 21-16, 21-18; Sayali Gokhale (AI) bt Pizza Bharali (ASM) 21-10, 21-13; Arundhati Pantawane (MAH) bt Anita Ohlan (RLY)
21-10, 21-18; Neha Pandit (AI) bt Meenakshi Nair (DEL) 21-9, 21-14; Ruth Misha (KTK) bt Merit George (KER) 21-14, 21-11; Parul Rawat (Rly) bt J. Shruthi (AP)
21-17, 21-13; Aditi Mutatkar (PSPB) bt Archana Kumari (BHR) 21-3, 21-3; Jwala Gutta (PSPB) bt Sonal More (MAH) 21-9, 21-14; Aparna Balan (KER) bt Poonam Tiwari
(UTR) 21-16, 21-5.