Quite expectedly Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia justified his top seeding in men’s singles category at the 2015 Russian Open Grand Prix Badminton Tournament on Sunday. The Indonesian won the title by beating Estonia’s Raul Must in straight games. The women’s singles title was clinched by Czech Republic’s Kristina Gavnholt, who defeated Japan’s Mayu Matsumoto in the final. In other finals on Sunday, Russian top seeds Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov took the men’s doubles title by beating Malaysia’s V Shem Goh and Wee Kiong Tan; Bulgaria’s top-seeded pair of Grabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva won the women’s doubles by defeating Germany’s Johanna Goliszewski and Carla Nelte and the mixed doubles crown was taken by unseeded Malaysian duo of Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying, who won after facing a stiff resistance from the Japanese pair of Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino. It was the second title for Soon/Ying, who also won the Polish Open in March 2015.
Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto was BWF’s highest ranked men’s singles player in 2015 Russian Open Grand Prix badminton tournament and also the top seed. Sugiarto had an easy passage into the final and did not lose a single game in the tournament. Except in the initial stages of his match against India’s Ajay Jayaram in the semifinal, Sugiarto was never in trouble. The Sunday’s victory at Vladivostok should boost his confidence ahead of the World Championships in Jakarta. Estonia’s Raul Must tried his best but the top-seeded Indonesian cruised through with a 21-16, 21-10 victory in 38 minutes.
For Czech Republic’s Kristina Gavnholt, it was the first Grand Prix title since the Dutch Open in 2012. Earlier, Gavnholt had also won the women’s crown at 2012 Lagos International Challenge. On Sunday Gavnholt was up against Japan’s 19-year-old Mayu Matsumoto. After the Czech woman took the first game 21-10, the Japanese teenager fought hard in the second game and leveled the score to 20-20. But Gavnhold held her nerves and emerged as the winner at 21-10, 22-20.
In men’s doubles final match, Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov gave Russia some cheers by winning the only title for the home nation in this year’s tournament. Ivanov/Sozonov played against Commonwealth Games gold medalists Goh V. Shem and Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia. The final was closely fought and both games were decided on small margins. But the defending champions kept their cool and won 22-20, 21-19 in 37 minutes. For Ivanov/Sozonov, it was the fifth Russian Open men’s doubles title in seven years.
In women’s doubles, Bulgarian top seeds Grabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva had a showdown with Germany’s Johanna Goliszewski and Carla Nelte. After their disappointing first-round exit last week in Taipei, the Stoeva sisters were able to strike peak performance and scored a creditable 21-15, 21-17 win against the Germans.
Almost three years back, Malaysia’s mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying were a force to reckon with. Later however, spate of injuries induced partnership changes and after that, it became a struggle for the Malaysian pair. These two have scored creditable results in International Challenge in Poland, where they reached the semifinals. They did the same at China Masters and won the silver at the SEA Games. But their first Grand Prix victory after 2012 came at Vladivostok on Sunday against Japanese teenagers Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino in the final. It wasn’t an easy win after all. Though the Malaysians easily clinched the first game 21-13, they were severely challenged by the Japanese in the second. That game became a see-saw battle after 20-20 but the Malaysians prevailed in the end to take the title 21-13, 23-21.
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