Unheralded 15-year-old Tushar Aggarwal gave a tough time to second seed Yash Nain before going down fighting in the U-16 boys singles semifinal at the Pramod Mahajan Badminton Tournament here on Wednesday. Nain beat Aggarwal 18-21, 21-18, 21-8.
In the first game, Aggarwal knocked the wind out of Nain’s sails with his powerful smashes and gleaned most of the points from counter-play. Nain, on the other hand, made too many unforced errors and failed to keep the shuttle in the line of his opponent’s body, thus allowing Aggarwal a considerable margin and time to react and play the winning shots.
“I am running temperature and have caught a cold. My body didn’t support me today. I lost my speed and control. Though the second game boosted my confidence, I couldn’t really come into my rhythm. If it hadn’t been for Tushar’s mistakes, I wouldn’t have won,” said a tired Nain after the match.
In the second game, Aggarwal looked in sublime touch for a moment when he made some spectacular dives to save points, but conceded a few in long and powerful rallies. Down 15-13, Nain played a slow backhand in reply to Aggarwal’s high toss, who, then returned with a straight forehand for the shuttle to pass through straight in between Nain’s legs.
By the end of the second game, both looked tired and served long and high to push each other to the baseline.
Nain was first to take advantage of the open forecourt, dragging Aggarwal to the net every now and then to score points on dribbles. Aggarwal couldn’t do much in the third game. He jumped, fell, screamed, but to no avail. Nain went on to close the proceedings with a slow drop to which Aggarwal had no reply as he failed to move. In U-19 boys singles, Ashish Sharma beat Bhaskar Chakraborty 22-20, 15-21, 21-19 to enter the final.