Anup Sridhar showed resilience after losing the opening game to beat his Petroleum Board team-mate P. Kashyap 19-21, 21-19, 21-16 and reach the National Badminton Championship final after three years on Saturday. He will take on Chetan Anand, who defeated defending champion Aravind Bhat 21-19, 4-21, 21-16.
The women’s singles final will see top seed Sayali Gokhale take on second seed Trupti Murgunde. Sayali overcame fourth seed Gayatri Vartak 21-19, 24-22, while Aditi Mutatkar conceded her last-four match against Murgunde due to injury.
Anup was the first off the block but it was Kashyap who began controlling the game as he picked up pace and kept his opponent on the defensive.
It looked like Anup was fighting a losing battle as Kashyap opened up a 9-5 lead in the second game after pocketing the first. But then, the senior player changed tactics, using short serves and half smashes to unnerve his opponent.
The ploy worked as Kashyap took time to adjust to the changed game plan and, though he saved three game points, Anup played the final point with controlled aggression to take the match to the decider. By then, Anup had struck rhythm and he never conceded the lead thereafter to win the match.
Results: Men’s singles: C Anand (PSPB) bt A Bhat (PSPB) 21-19, 4-21, 21-16; A Sridhar (PSPB) bt P. Kashyap (PSPB) 19-21, 21-19, 21-16; Women’s singles: S Gokhale (AI) bt G Vartak (PSPB) 21-19, 24-22; T Murgunde (PSPB) bt A Mutatkar (PSPB) 21-19, 14-3 retd.