Delhi state champion since 2006, Mohita Sahdev, had not achieved much on the international stage till the UAE Open happened earlier this month.
In a sport dominated by players from south India, Mohita finally made her presence felt by winning her maiden international title in Dubai.
“It was an invitational event and it feels good to win an international tournament,” she said about the July 9-14 meet.
Though Mohita has been playing for seven years, her progress at the Nationals has been slow. “I will not blame it on the facilities because I believe the onus is on the players. There aren’t enough women players who can give me competition, that’s why I train with men. The farthest I have reached in the Nationals is the semifinals,” she said.
The lack of competition was obvious as Mohita steamrolled over her doubles partner Meenakshi Nair 21-6, 21-17 to retain the women’s title in the Delhi State Championship at the Karnail Singh Stadium.
“It was a one-sided affair, Mohita was too good for her opponent,” said former international player and national doubles coach Ajay Kanwar.
Trained by Surjit Singh, Mohita, ranked 23rd in the country, aims to improve her ranking and represent the country in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. “I was selected by the Commonwealth camp but had to give it a miss due to my exams. However, if I play well in the following months, I will surely make it. It will be a big embarrassment if I can’t take part in the Games. After all, it’s happening at home,” added Mohita, who just graduated from St Stephen’s.
Top-seed Tanveer Gill lost to Shrikant Bakshi 21-16, 21-19 in a well-contested match.
Junior Boys’ Singles (U-19): Ashish Sharma bt Bharat Bajaj 21-17, 16-21, 21-17
Junior Girls’ Singles (U-19): Nidhi Tewari bt Priyanka Arya
Men’s singles: Shrikant Bakshi bt Tanveer Gill 21-16, 21-19.