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Chetan Anand lifts Bitburger Open GP

Chetan became the first male shuttler in seven years to have won any tournament above the international challenger level after beating compatriot Arvind Bhat in Bitburger Open GP, reports Abhijeet Kulkarni.

india Updated: Oct 06, 2008 01:24 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Hindustan Times

Indonesian Alan Budi Kusuma and Susi Susanti won the 1992 Bracelona Olympic gold when they were engaged. They could not bag such a double after they tied the knot in 1997 as Susanti retired soon after.

Though India's first first badminton couple of Chetan Anand and Jwala Gutta have a long way to go to reach the heights the Indonesians achieved, the Hyderabad-based couple created history when they bagged a grand double in the $50,000 Bitburger Open Grand Prix winning the men's singles and mixed doubles titles respectively.

It was also an historic occasion for the Indian contingent as this was the first time that India has won two titles in the same event of this stature. In fact, Chetan became the first male shuttler in seven years to have won any tournament above the international challenger level since Pullela Gopichand won the 2001 All England championship.

World number 30 Chetan, seeded fourth, got the better of compatriot Arvind Bhat 23-25, 24-22, 23-21 in an hour long humdinger to clinch his fourth title in the year and also earn 5000 ranking points that should catapult him eight places in the next ranking list.

Earlier, Jwala had teamed up with V Diju to win the mixed doubles crown when the unseeded Indian pair upset eight-seeded Danish combination of Joachim Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen 8-21, 21-17, 22-20 in the summit clash.

However, Aditi Mutatkar failed to make it an 100 per cent result for the Indians when she wasted three match points before going down to Indonesia's Maria Kusumastuti 22-24, 21-8, 23-21 in the women's singles final.

Below par Chetan scrapes through

Jwala normally exercises her vocal chord to the optimum when hubby Chetan takes the court. But on Sunday, the 25-year-old preferred to get out of the arena and pray as she was too nervous to watch the game.

"Chetan was not at all playing at his best and I could watch the game like that," she told Hindustan Times over phone.

Even Chetan admitted that the summit clash was more about holding once nerve than good quality badminton and said he just employed the tactic of frustrating his opponent in the closing stages of the match.

"When I went 14-19 down in the decider, I remembered the Goa nationals earlier in the year where I just played on his patience to win. I played the same way and thankfully the strategy worked once again," said Chetan, who had reached the summit clash of the India Open Grand Prix gold event in Hyderabad in April this year.

Arvind on the other hand was a bit philosophical about his loss saying it was just not his day. "The quality of the game was not that good at the start. But in the decider, Chetan raised his game.

First Published: Oct 05, 2008 21:13 IST