National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand’s daughter Gayatri put up a fine show at the Yonex-Sunrise All India Senior Ranking tournament, finishing with two titles. Gayatri, who had upset the fourth seed Aakarshi Kashyap this week, announced her arrival in the senior category with a title in women’s singles as well as women’s doubles.
Meanwhile, sixth seed Lakshya Sen staved off a stiff resistance from second seed Rahul Yadav Chittaboina to triumph in men’s singles. In singles, the 16-year-old Gayatri, who was seeded 13th, needed just 37 minutes to see off Tanvi Lad 21-19 21-16 to lay her hands on her first Senior Ranking Tournament trophy. She later teamed up with Rutaparna Panda and defeated the fourth seeds and reigning national champions Shikha Gautam and Ashwini Bhat K, 19-21 21-14 21-10.
The 17-year-old Sen, who reached the China Masters final in March, was put to a stern test by Chittaboina, who edged the Prakash Padukone protege 25-23 in the first game in an absorbing men’s singles final that lasted 61 minutes. The 2018 Asian junior champion found his rhythm midway through the match to take the next two games on his way to a 23-25 21-14 21-13 victory, which gave him his first title of the year.
There was no stopping the men’s doubles top seeds Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila who did not drop a game to record a 23-21 21-17 win over seventh seeds Sri Krishna Sai Kumar Podile and Gouse Shaik. They had won a gold medal at the Senior Ranking Tournament in Vijayawada earlier.
Shaik, however, amended for his mistakes in the mixed doubles category. The seventh-seeded pair of Shaik and Mayuri Yadav fought for 50 minutes to register a thrilling 21-19 13-21 21-12 win over Krishna Prasad and Ashwini Bhat.