It was double relief for Tata Open India International Challenge men’s singles winner RMV Gurusaidutt yesterday after he beat fourth seed Sai Praneeth 21-19, 21-12 at the Cricket Club of India’s badminton courts.
The World No 43 took just 40 minutes to wrap up the win that is special to him for two reasons — firstly, because it’s the 22-year-old’s first title in four years, and secondly, he finally managed to beat his sparring partner (the duo trains at the Gopichand Academy) in a competition.
“This is a huge win. I am relieved because I was desperately looking to win a title and secondly, beating Sai Praneeth is like getting a huge load off me. I always win all practice matches against him during training but somehow was unable to get the better of him in competitions. In fact, I lost to him in the last three tournaments we entered,” Gurusaidutt told MiD DAY yesterday.
In Game One, Gurusaidutt began poorly, going down 1-4 before making a comeback to lead 6-4. Sai Praneeth rallied to make it 15-16, but Gurusaidutt leveled things at 19-19 and went on to take a 1-0 lead.
The second game saw Gurusaidutt take charge. He shot to a 15-10 lead and from thereon, never looked in trouble as he went on to win Game Two 21-12. Among the women, fifth seed PC Thulasi beat Febby Angguni of Indonesia 21-15, 21-13 to clinch the title.