KashyapWhile Saina Nehwal successfully defended her title, third seed Parupalli Kashyap scored an upset win over top seeded Kidambi Srikanth in the final to emerge as men’s singles champion in the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships, which concluded at Lucknow on Sunday. Women’s top seed Nehwal continued with her stupendous run in the tournament and played a marathon 3-game final against world champion Carolina Marin of Spain. Marin fought hard against the Indian and at one stage; she held two match points against the Indian in the second game. But Saina’s perseverance paid as she overcame that tense moment and took the match to the deciding third game. After that, she didn’t allow the Spaniard to come back into the match and cruised to a 19-21, 25-23, 21-16 victory in 1 hour 19 minutes. In the men’s final too, it wasn’t a cake-walk for Kashyap as Srikanth battled hard until the very end as the score-line of 23-21, 23-21 would suggest. Men’s doubles title went to the Danish pair of Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen, women’s doubles to Amelia Alicia Anselly/Fie Cho Soong and mixed double was won by the Indonesian duo Riky Widianto/Pushpita Richi Dili.

Curtains came down on Sunday at BWF 2015 season’s second Grand Prix Gold tournament at Lucknow with the conclusion of annual Syed Modi International Badminton Championships. Indian fans were happy that at least one Indian would walk away with the honors in the men’s singles final because the match featured Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap. While Srikanth was expected to emerge as the champion, Kashyap had other ideas. In the first game, Kashyap opened up the lead on a few occasions but every time Srikanth fought back to level the scores at some stage. From 16-16, the game progressed to 21-21 and none of the two Indians wanted to yield an inch. But when an opportunity presented itself, Kashyap took it with both hands, reeled off two quick points and won the first game. The story repeated in the second game as well, when the players were tied at 13-13. Yet again, it was Kashyap, who made the best use of an opportunity to win four points in a row to lead 17-13. Srikanth fought hard but Kashyap extended his lead to 19-15. But Srikanth is not known to give in so easily and on his turn, he came up with four successive points of his own to make the score 19-19. From here the score progressed to 21-21 and the viewers saw a repeat of the first game, when Kashyap again won two consecutive points to take the match and the championship 23-21, 23-21.

The women’s singles final was a more intriguing affair. The match was played before the men’s final in which Saina Nehwal faced the world champion Carolina Marin. In their earlier two meetings, Nehwal had beaten Marin but past records have no bearings with performances on a given day. In fact, the first game was going Nehwal’s way until 16-12. But suddenly, there were cracks in the Indian’s game as she threw away her dominating stance. Marin took her chances and came back into the game to win it 21-19. In the second game too; Nehwal led 10-6 at one stage but once again, she faltered and allowed the Spaniard to bounce back to a 15-12 lead. The alarmed Nehwal fought back and it became a neck-to-neck battle. Marin forced two match points but the Indian managed to save them both. Keeping her nerves, Nehwal created a game point of her own and leveled the match 1-1. In the decider, however, Nehwal refrained from committing the same mistakes as she had done in the previous two games and opened a 9-4 early lead. From this point onward, the Indian never looked back and took the championship on her third match point.

The men’s doubles crown was won by Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen. The Danish pair scored a 21-9, 22-20 victory over the Russian combo of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov. In women’s doubles, the title honors were taken by Malaysia’s Amelia Alicia Anselly and Fie Cho Soong, who defeated their compatriots Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon 22-20, 21-15. The fifth title involved the mixed doubles match, in which Indonesia’s Riky Widianto and Pushpita Richi Dili defeated the Indian pair of Manu Attri and K Maneesha 21-17, 21-17.