Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kashyap wins India Grand Prix Gold 2012 title

Parupalli Kashyap of India scripted a fine victory today in the finals of the men's singles event at the Shaheed Dr. K.L. Garg - Syed Modi International India GPG 2012 badminton tournament that was held at Lucknow in India from 18-Dec to 23-Dec-2012.

P.Kashyap, who is currently ranked no.20 in the world badminton rankings, and who was seeded 2nd in this tournament defeated 14th seeded Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand in the final match. The match lasted for 3 games, with the final scoreline reading 21-19, 14-21, 21-17 in Kashyap's favour. Earlier in the semi-finals Kashyap had overcome another stiff challenge from Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto and had won that match in straight sets 21-18, 23-21.

The other Indian player who was in contention for the gold medal at the India Grand Gold Prix badminton tournament, P.V. Sindhu, however lost in the final match of the women's singles event. 7th seeded Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia defeated 2nd seeded Sindhu in the finals by a score of 21-15, 18-21, 21-18.

PV Sindhu, one of India's best upcoming badminton talent, is currently ranked no.24 in the world badminton rankings and holds the no.7 spot in the junior rankings. She had her career best victory just a couple of months back in Sep-2012 at the Li Ning Masters tournament in China, where she had defeated the and reigning Olympics 2012 badminton champion Le Xuerui of China.

Earlier in the first round of this year's India grand prix, Saina Nehwal had backed out of the tournament citing a knee injury, when she was leading at match-point. However overall the India Grand Prix Gold 2012 home tournament has turned out to be good outing for the Indian camp, with a haul of two medals, a gold medal in the men's singles and a silver in the women's singles event.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

French Open 2012 badminton: Saina Nehwal reaches Semi-finals

Saina Nehwal has continued her great form from the previous Denmark Open tournament, and has reached the semi-finals of the French Open 2012 badminton tournament that is being held at Paris, France from 23 to 28 October 2012.

However the win in the quarter-finals was not easy, as Saina barely managed to get past the world no.10, 17-year old Ratchanok Inthanon in a very closely contested match, defeating her Thai opponent by a score of 22-20, 22-20.

Saina Nehwal, who is the top seed for this tournament, will next be playing in the semi-finals against 4th seeded Juliane Schenk of Germany, whom she had defeated only last week in the finals of the Denmark Open tournament. Saina has also notched the no.3 spot in the BWF world badminton rankings after her title win last week.

In the other women's singles semi-final will Eriko Hirose of Japan will be taking on fellow Japanese player Minatsu Mitani.

Three of China's best women badminton players, Yihan Wang, Li Xuerui and Xin Wang are not playing in this tournament, and second seeded Shixian Wang has already been knocked out of the tournament having lost to Eriko Hirose of Japan earlier.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Saina Nehwal wins Denmark Open - 2012 badminton title

Saina had been away from competitive badminton since the last couple of months after her bronze medal winning performance at the London Olympics in Aug-2012. Given the fanfare that followed, the rewards and recognition ceremonies, the new sponsorship deals, and the two-month break, Indian badminton fans must have been wondering how she would perform at the Denmark Open super series where the world's top players had taken part. Would she still have the drive left in her to win the big matches? Will she be fitter than her opponents? However Saina has effectively put all such doubts to rest by doing what she does best. By winning!

Come this Sunday, and Saina Nehwal made her champion presence felt once again as she won the Denmark Open - 2012 super series badminton championship title by defeating Juliane Schenk of Germany in the finals by a score of 21-17, 21-8. It was Juliane who had earlier defeated reigning Olympic Gold medallist Xuerei Li of China in the quarter-finals.

Earlier in the semi-finals, Saina achieved an all-important victory over her arch-rival and nemesis from China, the world no.1 Yihan Wang. This was the seventh time they were facing each other and Saina had lost all the previous 6 matches against her. However this time round, Saina was able to reverse her fortunes and defeated Wang by a score of 21-12, 21-7 (retired). Wang seemed to have injured her right knee during the second game of the match.

With the win in the finals, Saina has become only the second Indian badminton player to have ever won the Denmark Open badminton title. She has now emulated the feat of Prakash Padukone, former Indian badminton star, who more than 30 years ago, in 1980, had won this prestigious title.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saina Nehwal reaches semis of Denmark Open 2012

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal playing in her first international tournament after her medal winning performance at the 2012 Olympics, has reached the semi-finals of the Yonex Denmark Open-2012 Super series badminton tournament that is being held at Odense in Denmark from 16-Oct to 21-Oct-2012.

Saina who is currently ranked no.4 in the world badminton rankings, will be taking on the world's no.1 player and top seed of the tournament Yihan Wang of China in the semi-finals. The previous match between these two players was the 2012 Olympics semi-finals in August, where Yihan had halted Saina's progress to the finals defeating her 21-13, 21-13. The two have played against each other 6 times since 2010, and Yihan has won all those 6 matches.

Given the head to head statistics it would be interesting to see how Saina approaches this game following her long break from badminton since the Olympic games, and whether she has any new tactics to counter the world no.1 Chinese player.

In the men's singles event at the Denmark Open-2012, the Indian challenge came to an early end, with Anand Pawar and Ajay Jayaram losing their first round matches, and while Sourabh Verma showed great promise defeating the world no.8 and 6th seeded Peter Gade in the first round, he had to face defeat in the next round against Indonesian player Sony Kuncoro.

In the men's doubles the Indian pair of Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu lost in the first round, while in the mixed doubles, the pair of Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa met with the same fate and could not get past the first round.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

P.Kashyap and Sayali Gokhale win National badminton titles

Parupalli Kashyap went on the become India's new National badminton champion after he defeated Ajay Jayaram of Mumbai in the men's singles finals of the 77th Senior National Badminton Championship-2012 that was held at Srinagar from 26th September to 03rd October 2012.

In the final match, Kashyap defeated Ajay in two straight games with a score of 21-18, 21-17. A couple of months earlier, Kashyap had narrowly edged past Ajay to clinch a berth at the London Olympic Games. Kashyap had also performed well at the Olympics reaching the quarter-finals though his medal hopes were finally dashed when he lost against Malaysia's star player Lee Chong Wei.

It was a dream come true for Kashyap as this is first time that he has won the National Badminton Championship title.

In the Women's Singles badminton event, 2008 National badminton champion Sayali Gokhale managed to get past India's rising badminton star P.V.Sindhu to win the title back again.

P.V.Sindhu who has taken rapid strides recently at the World badminton level is currently ranked no.20 in the world having recently won the Asian Youth Championship title. Just last month she even pulled off a stunning victory against  London Olympic Gold Medallist Le Xuerei of China at the Li Ning Masters tournament in China. Compared to Sindhu, Sayali Gokhale is ranked a modest 131 in the world and given the recent performances it was Sindhu who was expected to win.

However Sindhu who was playing wearing a knee brace was apparently not fully fit for the game and seemed to have injured herself earlier in this tournament. Sayali made good use of her experience and put up a fine performance to make the maximum of this opportunity and to earn her second National badminton title. Sayali defeated Sindhu by a score of 21-15, 15-21, 21-15.

In the badminton doubles events, Aparna Balan earned double titles winning in the women's doubles as well as the mixed doubles.

In the women's doubles Aparna and N. Sikki Reddy won against the second seeded pair of Varsha Belawadi and G.M. Nischitha by a score of 21-11, 21-13. In the mixed doubles event, the top seeded pair of Aparna Balan and Arun Vishnu defeated Ashwini Ponnappa and Tarun K. in the final match by a score of 21-13 18-21 21-15.

In the men's doubles event, Manu Attri and B.Sumeeth Reddy won the title defeating the 3rd seeded pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Pranav Chopra by a score of 10-21 21-14 21-12.

77th National Badminton Championship 2012 - Title Winners:

Men's Singles: Parupalli Kashyap
Women's Singles: Sayali Gokhale
Men's Doubles: Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy
Women's Doubles: Aparna Balan and Sikki Reddy N.
Mixed Doubles: Aparna Balan and Arun Vishnu

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saina Nehwal wins Indonesia Open 2012

Saina Nehwal of India defeated 4th seeded Xuerui Li of China in a pulsating final match of the women's singles event, to win the Djarum Indonesia Open 2012 badminton title for the third time in her career.

The Indonesia Open 2012 Super Series Premier badminton tournament is being held at Jakarta in Indonesia from 12th-17th June 2012.

Saina Nehwal vs. Xuerui Li  - Head to Head

Li Xuerui, Saina's opponent in the finals was ranked no.3 in the world, while Saina holds a current world ranking of no.5. Before today's encounter the two had played against each other 5 times, in which Saina had a dismal record of 1-4. To add to this Xuerui had not lost a single match since Jan-2012 winning 30 matches in a row with 4 consecutive titles wins. And those 30 straight wins were all against formidable opponents including 3 consecutive wins over world no.1 Yihan Wang.

On the other hand, there were some plus points for Saina too. One is she holds a fantastic record at the Indonesia Open super series badminton tournament, having won the title in 2009 and 2010, and the silver medal in 2011. She also gets good crowd support from the Indonesian badminton fans. To add to this she had reached to play at the Indonesia Open tournament fresh with a title win under her belt, having won the Thailand Open title just a week ago.

The final match
Given these track records, the final match promised much excitement for badminton fans worldwide, and they were not disappointed at all. While Xuerui Li won the first game 21-13, and looked all set to win the title, Saina fought back from the brink to win the second game 22-20 to bring the match on an even note once again. And then Saina controlled her nerves better in the last game 21-19 to pocket the Indonesia Open title once again in her career.

Saina Nehwal won the final match defeating Xuerui Li with a score of 13-21, 22-20, 21-19.

Earlier in the semi-finals of the Indonesia Open 2012, Saina had defeated world no.10 Ji Hyun Sung of Korea in straight sets, while in the men's singles P. Kashyap's dream run ended when he lost to world no.9 Simon Santoso of Indonesia. He will be participating in the Singapore Open tournament next.

Very creditable win for Saina
All the top 10 women badminton players in the world had participated at the Indonesia Open 2012 super series badminton tournament and were vying to win the title. Saina Nehwal's title win today amidst such tough competition should give much hope to Indian badminton fans who will be cheering for her and India, at the London Olympics that will soon be held in August.

Related Posts

Saina and Kashyap in semifinals of Indonesia Open 2012 badminton
Kashyap shines at Indonesia Open 2012

Saina Nehwal's silver medal finish at Indonesia Open last year
Indonesia Open 2011 badminton - Last year's results

Friday, June 15, 2012

Saina and Kashyap storm into semi-finals of Indonesian Open 2012 badminton tournament

It was another great day for India at the Indonesian Open-2012 Super Series Premier badminton tournament, with Saina Nehwal and P.Kashyap of India giving Indian badminton fans a lot of cheer about as they stormed into the semi-finals of the prestigious tourney.

World no.5 Saina Nehwal defeated arch rival and world no.4 Shixian Wang of China in a hard fought match by a score of 21-17 21-23 21-19. With this win, Saina improved her career record against Shixian Wang taking it to 3 wins compared to 1 loss against her Chinese opponent.

Saina will next be playing against world no.10 Sung Ji Hyun of Korea who defeated 2nd seeded and world no.2 Xin Wang of China. Saina has a career record of 3-0 against Sung Ji Hyun, however the two haven't had a chance to play against each other since the last 1 year.

Meanwhile there was even more to cheer about for the Indian fans in the men's singles as P.Kashyap of India who had stunned top seed and world no.3 Chen Long of China in the 2nd round, continued with his dream run at the Djarum Indonesia Open-2012 badminton tournament and overcame the challenge of Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark defeating him 21-15 21-14.

With this result Kashyap has now reached the semi-finals of the Indonesian open, and he will next be playing against world no.9 Simon Santoso of Indonesia. Simon holds a career head to head record of 3-0 against Kashyap, and he is also likely to have the added advantage of getting the home support from the local crowd, however Kashyap seems to be in great form and the match will be interesting to watch.

Related Posts:

P.Kashyap shines at Indonesian Open-2012.

P. Kashyap shines at Indonesian Open-2012

World no.26 Parupalli Kashyap of India came up with one of the most remarkable performances of his badminton career as he defeated world no.3 and top seed Chen Long of China in the 2nd round of the men's singles at the ongoing Djarum Indonesia Open-2012 badminton tournament that is being held at Jakarta in Indonesia.
P.Kashyap overcame the challenge of Chen Long in two straight games defeating him by a score of 21-17 21-14.

The challenge of the other Indian badminton players in the men's singles event, Ajay Jayaram and Sourabh Verma came to an end, with Ajay losing in the 2nd round and Sourabh losing in the first.

Meanwhile in the women's singles event, Saina Nehwal had to struggle to get past qualifier Aprilla   Yuswandari of Indonesia in the second round. Saina defeated Aprilla 21-17 14-21 21-13 in three games. In the first round of the Indonesia Open-2012, Saina had defeated Sayaka Sato of Japan 21-12 14-21 21-17.

Saina now faces the tough challenge from World no.3 Shixian Wang of China in the next round of the Indonesian open.

The other Indian girl in the fray in the women's singles, P.V. Sindhu lost against experienced world no.7 player Juliane Schenk of Denmark in the second round. Sindhu lost by a score of 14-21, 14-21.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saina Nehwal wins Thailand Open-2012

Saina Nehwal of India overcame the strong challenge of second seeded Thai girl Ratchanok Inthanon in the finals of the SCG Thailand Open -2012 badminton tournament to clinch the title. The tournament was held at Bangkok in Thailand from 05-June to 10-June-2012.

World No.5 and top seeded Saina Nehwal survived an early scare against world no.11 Ratchanok Inthanon as she lost the first game 19-21. However Saina bounced back quite strongly to win the next two games 21-15 and 21-10 dashing all local hopes and winning the crown.

Earlier in the semi-finals of the Thailand Open, Saina Nehwal had defeated world no.17 and 3rd seeded Porntip Buranaprasertuk of Thailand in straight sets to storm into the finals of this badminton tournament.

Saina had done well to win the Swiss Open title earlier this year but after that had faltered at home as she lost in the second round of the Indian Open-2012 tournament. However she seems to have regained her form with this title win at the Thailand Open-2012. Also this title win comes at an important juncture in view of the forhcoming London 2012 Olympics that is going to be held soon in a couple of months.

However there are other challenges coming up sooner than the Olympics. Immediately next in line is a very tough tournament, the 'Djarum Indonesia Open 2012' which will be held in Indonesia, Jakarta from 12-17 June-2012. All the top Chinese players are expected to participate there and 5th seeded Saina is drawn to play against world no.15 Sayaka Sato of Japan in the first round.

Let's see whether Saina will be able to leverage the momentum obtained from the Thailand Open-2012 title win, and recreate the magic of yesteryears at her favourite hunting ground, Indonesia.

Related Posts:

Saina Nehwal in finals of Thailand Open-2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saina Nehwal in Thailand Open finals

Saina Nehwal of India has stormed into the finals of the SCG Thailand Open 2012 badminton tournament that is being held at Bangkok in Thailand from 05-June to 10-June-2012.

In the semi-finals top seeded world No.5 Saina Nehwal defeated world no.17 and 3rd seed Porntip Buranaprasertuk of Thailand in straight sets 24-22 21-11. Saina will now face the challenge of 2nd seed and world no.11 Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand in the finals of this Thai Open tournament.

After winning the Swiss Open title earlier this year, Saina made an early exit at the Yonex Sunrise Indian Open-2012 losing in the second round. Hence a title performance at this tournament should stand her in good stead and work as a morale booster in view the forthcoming London Olympics that will be held soon in a couple of months.

The other Indian girl in the fray at the SCG Thailand Open-2012, P.V. Sindhu had earlier lost in the second round of the tournament against Chinese opponent and former world champion Lin Wang.
P.V.Sindhu has fast climbed the world ranking ladder lately and is currently ranked No.26 in the world. She is still young and hopefully as she gains more experience, she could soon become a force to reckon amongst the world's top 10 women badminton players.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Saina Nehwal wins Swiss Open-2012

She has done it again!

Saina Nehwal displayed tremendous form and grit to successfully defend her title at the Swiss Open-2012 Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament that was held at Basel in Switzerland from 13th to 18th March 2012.

I don't know what divine connection Saina Nehwal has with Switzerland.
Perhaps the Gods in the Swiss Alps like her fighting spirit, or perhaps when she is here she just draws her inspiration from the local Swiss hero Roger Federer (who is a native of Basel, the place where this  tournament takes place), or perhaps its just because her birthday coincides with the dates of this tournament giving her time to reflect on her life goals, (O my God, one more year gone, I have to win this !! :)), but the fact is that the Swiss Open has become Saina's favourite hunting ground for titles.

That the final match of the Swiss Open-2012 was not going to be easy for Saina, was a foregone conclusion, for looking determinedly at her from the other end of the net was her arch-rival, current World no.3 (and former no.1), Shixian Wang of China.

But didn't someone say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. This mental toughness may have been the deciding factor in the final match, as a resolute Saina Nehwal went about her job with clinical precision defeating Wang 21-19, 21-16 in straight sets to win the match and retain her title.

Last year at the Swiss Open-2011, Saina Nehwal had crushed Ji Hyun Sung of Korea 21-13, 21-14 in the finals in 43 minutes, but as many will recall, the Chinese players had not participated last year. Here's more information about how Saina won the Swiss-Open-2011 last year.

History's been repeating itself the last two years for Saina. She had bowed out of the quarter-finals of the England Open last year, and then went on to win the Swiss title. This year the same story was repeated. A quarter-final loss at the England Open followed by a title win at the Swiss open.

However this year things were different and tougher, with the Chinese players having entered the fray, and if you ask me, just this one fact makes Saina's win this year much more commendable than her victory at the same venue last year.

The win has also been a timely one for Saina Nehwal, coming as it does with the London 2012 Olympics just round the corner. Let's hope that she continues to perform in the same vein throughout the year.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saina Nehwal out of England Open 2012

India's last remaining challenge at the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships 2012 being held at Birmingham, UK, came to an end, when Saina Nehwal lost in the quarterfinals to World No.5 Xuerui Li of China. Xuerui Li defeated Saina 21-13, 23-21.

Amongst the other Indians in the fray at the England Open 2012, PV Sindhu the new Indian National women's badminton champion, had done well to reach from the qualifying rounds to the main draw. However in the first round of the main event she went down fighting to Tzu Ying Tai of Taiwan who defeated her in a closely fought match 14-21 21-16 21-19.

In the men's singles, RMV Guru Sai Dutt and Sourabh Verma failed to progress from the qualifiers to the main draw, while Ajay Jayaram and P.Kashyap lost in the first round of the main event.

The same story was repeated for India, in the doubles sections of the England Open-2012, with Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas in the men's doubles, V.Diju and Jwala Gutta in the mixed doubles, losing their respective opening round matches.

The women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa did slightly better to get past the opening hurdle but their further hopes were dashed as they lost their way in the 2nd round losing to second seeded Chinese pair of Qing Tian & Yunlei Zhao.

The only Indians to have ever won the All England Open badminton championships are former players Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand, and there are many Indians who feel that Saina has the talent to repeat this extraordinary feat. However at least for this year, this was not to be.

For Saina Nehwal, it must have been disappointing to lose once again in the quarter-finals. Reminds of her loss at the same tournament last year when she had lost to lower ranked Eriko Hirose of Japan in the quarters. Not to forget that Saina had won the Swiss Open immediately after that loss.

Here's more on what had happened last year Saina crashes out of England Open-2011, and lets wish her all the best for the next badminton tournament in the queue, the Swiss Open 2012.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

National badminton championship 2012 results

India's premier national badminton tournament, the 76th Senior National Badminton Championships-2012, came to a close today at the K.Raheja Stadium in Bangalore, Karnataka today.

Men's Singles results:

In the men's singles finals, India's latest badminton star on the horizon, the top seeded Sourabh Verma overcame the challenge of 2nd seeded B. Sai Praneeth 21-19, 21-19 in a close encounter. Earlier in the semi-finals also Sourabh had had a very close match, when he had just barely got past the gritty H.S.Prannoy 21-23, 22-20, 21-16.

New National men's singles badminton champion: Sourabh Verma of Madhya Pradesh.
Runners up: B.Sai Praneeth.
Semi-finalists: H.S.Prannoy and Anand Pawar.

Women's singles final results:

In the women's singles, PV Sindhu clinched a relatively comfortable victory defeating Neha Pandit of Maharashtra 21-9 21-14. Earlier in the semi-finals she had accounted for the reigning national badminton champion Aditi Mutatkar defeating her 21-10 21-12.

New National Women's singles badminton champion: PV Sindhu of Karnataka
Runners up: Neha Pandit
Semi-finalists: Aditi Mutatkar and Sayali Gokhale

Doubles section final results:

Arun Vishnu clinched a double crown winning the mixed doubles with Aparna Balan, and the men's doubles partnering Tarun Kona.

In the mixed doubles, it must have been like sweet revenge for the top seeded pair of Arun & Aparna as they toppled last year's champions Pranav Chopra and Prajakta Sawant upsetting their hopes 21-16 17-21 21-19, to win the mixed doubles title.
(It may be recalled that in the previous year's national badminton championships that were held at Rohtak in Haryana in Jan-2011, Prajakta & Pranav had got the better of Arun & Aparna in the finals)

Mixed doubles winners:
New National champions: Arun Vishnu / Balan Aparna
Runners-up: Pranav Chopra / Prajakta Sawant
Semi finalists: Akshay Dewalkar / Pradnya Gadre and the pair of D.Guru Prasad /G. M.Nischitha

In the men's doubles, Arun Vishnu joined forces with Tarun Kona, as they both overpowered the previous edition's champions and one of India's most successful men's doubles combination of Rupesh Kumar & Sanave Thomas, getting past them with a score of 21-16 16-21 21-18, to clinch the title.
New national men's doubles champions: Arun Vishnu/ Tarun Kona
Runners up: Rupesh Kumar /Sanave Thomas
Semi-finalists: D.Guru Prasad / Vineeth Manuel and the pair of Akshay Dewalkar/ Pranav Chopra

In the women's doubles section, Pradnya Gadre & Prajakta Sawant defeated the pair of Aparna Balan and N.Sikki Reddy 21-19 22-20 in another closely fought contest.

Winners:The champions who won the gold medals: Pradnya Gadre / Prajakta Sawant
Silver medallists: Balan Aparna / N.Sikki Reddy
Semi-finalists: K.Maneesha / P.Jyotshna and the pair of Daya Elsa Jacob / Sneha Santhilal

So this is the new story of 2012.

If you would like to take a trip down memory lane and have a look at last year's results, check the links below:
National badminton championships-2011 women's singles results
National badminton championships-2011 men's singles results
National badminton championships-2011 doubles results