Seeded Shuttlers Have It Easy In All-India Sub-Junior Ranking Badminton


HYDERABAD: There were no major upsets in the quarterfinals of the ONGC All-India Sub-Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament at the Pullela Gopichand Academy on Friday.

Top seeds in boys’ singles Pranav Rao Gandham (U-13), Maisnam Meiraba (U-15) and Mansi Singh (U-13) and Jakka Vaishnavi Reddy (U-15) in the girls’ singles made it to the semifinal stage.

While Pranav struggled past sixth seed Bharat, other top shuttlers faced no such issues. After winning the first game 21-18, Pranav lost the second 19-21 but recovered to clinch the decider 21-17.

He will now face fifth seed R.K. Upananda, who downed Pranay Katta 21-12, 17-21, 21-14. In the lower-half of the draw, Gopichand’s son and fourth seed Pullela Sai Vishnu registered a straight-game victory against eighth seed Anmol Joon 21-16, 23-21. Vishnu will square up against second seed Sankar Muthusamy, who eased past 16th seed Aman Gupta 21-17, 21-13.

In the boys’ singles last eight stage, Meirba had it easy against Gautam Walia 21-19, 21-10 and will face sixth seed Koya Sai Charan for a place in the final. Charan ousted Priyanshu Rajawat 21-17, 21-16.

The other semifinal will be between seventh seed Jayant Rana and Bhavin Karamchandani. While Rane trumped Ayush Raj Gupta 21-10, 21-12, Karamchandani rallied to beat Jaiditya Pratap Singh 21-14, 19-21, 21-17.

Vaishnavi Reddy will face third seed Richa Muktibodh in the under-15 girls singles semifinals. Second seed Gayatri Gopichand and her training partner Samiya Imad Farooqui have also reached the last four stage. All the four winners recorded straight game victories.

Results (QFs): Boys’ singles (U-13): 1-Pranav Rao Gandham bt 6-Bharat 21-18, 19-21, 21-17; 5-RK Upananda bt Pranay Katta 21-12, 17-21, 21-14; 4-Pullela Sai Vishnu bt 8-Anmol Joon 21-16, 23-21; 2-Sankar Muthusamy bt 16-Aman Gupta 21-17, 21-13.

U-15: 1-Maisnam Meiraba bt Gautam Walia 21-19, 21-10; 6-Sai Charan Koya bt Priyanshu Rajawat 21-17, 21-16; 7-Jayant Rana bt Ayush Raj Gupta 21-10, 21-12; 11-Bhavin Karamchandani bt 12-Jaiditya Pratap Singh 21-14, 19-21, 21-17.

Girls’ singles (U-13): 1-Mansi Singh bt 7-Awantika Pandey 21-13, 21-13; 3-Hrissha Dubey bt Rajkumari Riplika Handiqlie 21-13, 21-13; Ritu Shah bt Pavithra Naveen 21-14, 21-15; 2-Tasnim Mir bt Meghana Reddy 8-21, 21-19, 21-12.

U-15: 1-Jakka Vaishnavi Reddy bt VS Varshini 21-14, 21-8; 3-Richa Muktibodh bt 8-Megha Pothamsetty 21-7, 21-13; 4-Samiya Imad Farooqui bt 6-S Kavipriya 21-11, 21-11; 2-Gayatri Gopichand bt Aditi Bhatt 21-9, 21-17.

Qualifiers Nikkita-Aditi In All India Sub-Junior Ranking Semis

Nikitha Joseph. (Image Courtesy:

Nikitha Joseph.
(Image Courtesy:

NAGPUR: Nikkita Joseph and Aditi Sadhankar stormed into the U-13 girls doubles semifinals in the All India Sub Junior Ranking Badminton tournament at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad on Friday.

Qualifiers Nikkita and Aditi stunned local players Poojitha Goudi Cherla and M Meghana Reddy 21-17, 22-20 in the 25-minute quarterfinal. Earlier in the morning in the pre-quarterfinal, Nikkita and Aditi rallied back strongly to sideline Shrishti Gupta and Ishani Waldia 19-21, 21-19, 21-10 in 45 minutes.

The unseeded pair of Aditi and Nikkita will now clash with top seeds Mansi Singh and Shiwangi Singh for a spot in the final on Saturday.

In the U-13 girls singles, qualifier Aditi lost to second seed Tasnim Mir 6-21, 8-21 in 15 minutes in Round 2. In the first round, Aditi had beaten Ayesha Singh 21-16, 21-15 in 25 minutes.

Both Aditi, student of Centre Point School, Dabha and Nikkita, a student of Modern School, Koradi, train under Chetak Khedikar and Prasad Sadhankar. In the U-15 boys singles, fifth seed Rohan Gurbani was upset by Gautam Walia in the third round. Unseeded Walia defeated Rohan Gurbani 17-21, 21-19, 22-20.

Rohan also failed to cross second round in the U-15 boys doubles. Jayant Rana and Arshad Shaik shocked eight seeds Rohan and Bhavin Karamchandani 21-16, 13-21, 21-18.

Srikanth Wins Men’s Singles Gold Title At The Syed Modi International 2016

Kidambi Srikanth. (Image Courtesy:

Kidambi Srikanth.
(Image Courtesy:

Top seed Kidambi Srikanth clinched the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold with a convincing win over China’s Huang Yuxiang in the men’s singles final on Sunday.

World No. 9 Srikanth, who had reached the finals even in the last edition as well, prevailed over 73rd ranked Huang 21-13, 14-21, 21-14.

Srikanth came into the men’s final with a 1-0 record against Huang, having beaten him last week at the Malaysia Masters at Penang and the Indian showed better control and picked up the gaps well in the first game against the Chinese.

The Indian led 11-8 at the break and continued to move ahead after the interval, cruising to the game point when the Chinese pushed to the back of the court, failed to recover enough ground to return a net dribble. Srikanth then sealed the game with a smash.

In the second game also, Srikanth went ahead to a comfortable 11-7 lead, but did not capitalize on it and allowed Huang to win the second game.

In the decider, Huang opened up an early lead of 7-4. Srikanth had to fight back his way to equal the scores at 8-8. The two fought neck to neck till 12-12 before the Indian again raised to al elad of 15-13.

Srikanth finally moved into the match point with a towering smash from the back court and then sealed it with another power-packed smash.

It was his fifth title having won the 2013 Thailand Grand Prix Gold, 2014 China Super Series premier and Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold and India Super Series last year.

Akshay and Pranav Flater In The Finals Of The Syed Modi International 2016

pranaav jerry Chopra  & akshay dewalkar. (Image Courtesy:

Pranaav jerry Chopra & Akshay dewalkar.
(Image Courtesy:

Akshay and Pranaav continued their good run after the interval as they led 17-12. They moved into the game point with the Malaysian making an error. Pranaav hit one at the net before Akshay came up with a sizzling smash which the Malaysian didn’t have any answer to pocket the opening game.
The second game begun on an even-keel as both the parties moved neck to neck right from the start to 5-5 before the Malaysian managed to go 11-8 up at the break. However, the Indian quickly erased the deficit and grabbed a 14-11 lead when the Malaysian faltered at the net.

Akshay exploited the gaps well as they led 17-14. However, the Malaysians soon drew parity at 18-18 and went into the lead when Pranaav hit the net. Goh and Tan grabbed a game point when Akshay hit wide but the Indian saved one to make it 20-20.

At this stage, the Indian won a controversial point on their serve even as the Malaysian complained. With the advantage shifting too quickly, it was Goh and Tan who grabbed the final two points — one with a return that hit Akshay and another when the Indians hit wide.

After losing the second game, the Indians struggled in the decider as their wayward shots helped Malaysians to open up a 7-2 lead. More errors followed as the visitors led 11-5 at the break before capitulating without a fight.

Gopchand’s children win titles

Gayatri.(Image Courtesy:

(Image Courtesy:

HYDERABAD: On a day when three shuttlers achieved a grand double each at the ONGC National Sub-Junior Ranking Tournament, chief coach Pullela Gopichand’s children clinched national ranking titles for the first time in the same tournament.

Gayatri, the 12 year old, who won several national titles and also bronze at the Asian meet, won the girls under-15 singles and doubles titles while her little brother 10-year-old Sai Vishnu won in the under-13 doubles category.

Gayatri defeated her doubles partner Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka 21-15, 21-12 for the singles crown. Later the duo eased past Karnataka’s Ananya Praveen and Medha Shashidharan in straight games 21-10, 21-9.

Mansi Singh from Uttar Pradesh stayed on top by winning the girls singles and doubles titles in the under-13 category. Mansi recovered after losing the second game to get past second seed Tasnim Mir of Gujarat 21-10, 16-21, 21-16 and later paired up with Shiwangi Singh of Uttar Pradesh to beat third seeds Awantika Pandey and Anupama Upadhyaya of Uttarakhand 21-7, 21-18.

Top seeds Vishnu and Pranav Rao Gandham defeated Bharat and Anmol Joon of Haryana in straight games 21-19, 21-13 in the under-13 doubles final. Pranav, who is also the top seed in singles, defeated second seed Sankar Muthusamy of Tamil Nadu 21-16, 21-12 in just 25 minutes.

Maisnam Meiraba bagged the under-15 boys singles title. The top seed from Manipur made short work of seventh Jayant Rana of Haryana 21-17, 21-8. However, Meiraba and his partner from Andhra Pradesh Srikar Madina, who are seeded second in doubles, were shocked by fourth seeds Ishaan Bhatnagar of Chattisgarh and Priyanshu Rajawat of Madhya Pradesh 24-26, 18-21.

Results (All finals):
Girls singles (under-13):
1-Mansi Singh (UP) bt 2-Tasnim Mir (GUJ) 21-10, 16-21, 21-16.
1-Mansi Singh/Shiwangi Singh (UP) bt 3-Awantika Pandey/Anupama Upadhyaya (UTR) 21-7 21-18.
U-15 singles:
2-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela (TS) bt 1-Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka (TS) 21-15, 21-12.
1-Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka/Gayatri Gopichand Pullela (TS) bt 2-Ananya Praveen/Medha Shashidharan (KTK) 21-10, 21-9.
Boys singles (U-13):
1-Pranav Rao Gandham (TS) bt 2-Sankar Muthusamy (TN) 21-16, 21-12

Saina, Sindhu To Compete In 12th SAG

Mr. Akilesh Das Gupta.

Mr. Akilesh Das Gupta.

SHILLONG: World’s top-ranked players Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and a host of renowned shuttlers have been named to represent the country in the upcoming 12th SAG scheduled to be held here.

In a release by Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta, President BAI and Chairman GTCC, listed the players, which includes Saina, Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram.

The team championship for men and women will be held on league basis on February 6 and 7. The semifinals and the finals will be held on February 8.

The individual events, men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles will be held on February 9 and 10.

Eight men’s teams and seven women’s teams are participating in the team event.

The squad:
Mens singles: Parupalli Kashyap, Kidambi Srikanth, H.S. Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram.

Women’s singles: Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, Ruthvika Shivani, P.C. Thulasi.

Men’s doubles: Manu Atri and Sumeeth Reddy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar.

Women’s doubles: Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, Sikki Reddy and K Maneesha.

Coaches: Tan Kim Her, Vijaydeep Singh, Amrish Shinde, Ravikanth Singla.

Saina Nehwal Dedicates Padma Bhushan Award To Coach Vimal

Saina with U. Vimal Kumar. (Image Courtesy:

Saina with U. Vimal Kumar.
(Image Courtesy:

MUMBAI: India ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Monday dedicated her Padma Bhushan award to coach U. Vimal Kumar under whose guidance she rose to the top of the world rankings.

It is noteable and remarkable that already the 25-year-old Saina has already been a recipient of the Arjuna Award (2009), Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2010) and Padma Shri (2010).



U. Vimal kumar. (Image Courtesy:

U. Vimal kumar.
(Image Courtesy:

“I would like to thank the ministry for giving me Padma Bhushan. It is a great feeling, very honoured. I would like to dedicate the award to my coach U. Vimal Kumar sir totally. The way he has helped me in the last one year is great and made me become World No.1 and so many other achievements,” Saina said in a statement.

“Also, I would like to thank my parents, physio Sidhharth and trainer Deckline Leitao for supporting me so much,” the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist added.

Ahead of the 2014 Asian Games, Saina decided to move out of Pullela Gopichand Academy and switched her training base to Bengaluru under the guidance of Vimal. Her decision came after being laid low by a spate of injuries and a series of disappointing losses, including the 2014 BWF World Championships.

She started 2015 on a brilliant note by winning the India Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow, beating reigning world champion Carolina Marin of Spain in the final. She followed it up with her lone Superseries title, The India Open which she won after defeating the former world champion Ratchanok Intanon in the finals.

Saina also won the 2014 China Open title and in 2015, reached the finals of three prestigious events, All-England, World Championships and China Open.

Saina is one of India’s biggest hopes of winning a medal at the forthcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

Padma Bhushan is India’s third highest civilian award after Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan.

Sanjeeva Rao From Tanuku Is The Newest Badminton Sensation

VIJAYAWADA: Rella Sanjeeva Rao, a budding badminton player from Tanuku in West Godavari district who was the top ranker in India’s U-13 age group last year, the first to achieve the feat from the district is hardly 14 but, his accomplishments are spearheading. Despite hailing from an economically weak family, sheer determination has led him to pursue his passion – badminton. His hard work paid dividends by making a mark in the sport.

It wasn’t an easy coup for Sanjeeva Rao as he had lost his father, the breadwinner of his family, at a time when he just began pursuing his love for the game. His mother Rella Annapurna started supporting the family by working at a dairy parlour in the town. With a meagre income of Rs 4,000 per month, which comes to less than Rs 150 per day, she is struggling to make both ends meet.

“It isn’t easy. But his love and dedication for the game are worth giving it a shot. When I learnt that he beat everyone in the national championship to reach the top spot, I forget all the hardship,” Annapurna says with a sense of pride.

When asked how many hours her son spends a day to practise the game, she said, “At least six hours. Two hours in the morning, two at school and two more after school. When there are tournaments, he will practise for two more hours,” shares Annapurna.

Sanjeeva Rao, who is busy practising for the ‘All India sub-junior national badminton championship’ scheduled to begin in Hyderabad on January 25, says, “I want to represent India at international tournaments.”

Sanjeev got his first break when his coach at AKTP ZP High School S Satish Babu spotted him and asked him if he was interested in honing his skills. “I noticed he has exemplary skills when he was playing at the school and enrolled him for coaching in 2013. Since then, he has been outdoing himself,” says Babu.

He adds that Sanjeev’s aim isn’t a distant dream. “He has excelled in all the U-13 badminton championships and I am confident that he will be able to live his dream if he works with the same focus, as he is doing now, in the next two years,” Babu said.

To his credit, Sanjeev has a record of playing various national-level badminton championships eight times out of which he won a gold medal (in November, 2015) and finished at semi-finals thrice. He won several state-level championships in both singles and doubles category.

Sanjeev’s dedication, hard work and achievements also made others respond and support him. Recently, founder of Chitturi Subba Rao – Gopichand Badminton Academy, Chitturi Subba Rao, has announced free services at his academy. “The academy founder said Sanjeev can use the services for free. Sometimes, a few people come forward to donate shoes and other things,” said G Kusuma Kumari, physical director of SKSD Mahila Kalasala where the academy is situated.

Saina Nehwal Pulls Out Of Syed Modi Citing Illness

Saina. (Image Courtesy:

(Image Courtesy:

LUCKNOW: The defending champion, Saina is still nursing for a foot injury and now a recurring fever, has pulled out of the women’s singles competition at the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament here.

“I have been carrying the illness for a couple of days and have not fully recovered. I need some time to recover and get back into shape,” Saina said in a letter to the organisers of the event, which begin with the qualifiers here on Tuesday.

Saina had earlier confirmed her participation last week, organised by Uttar Pradesh Badminton Association under the auspices of Badminton Association of India (BAI)

Earlier, the World No. 2 Saina had hurt her achilles tendon during the China Open finals last year. She missed the Hong Kong Open but, took part in the BWF Super Series Masters at Dubai in December but has been struggling with her fitness ever since.
“She was unwell during the PBL semifinal match and has been suffering from bouts of recurrent viral fever ever since. So she is lacking in stamina and to play at the highest level, it is important to be at your best. So after consulting with her coach Vimal Kumar, she decided to skip the event,” Saina’s father Harvir Singh said.

The star Indian had played for Awadhe Warriors in the recently-concluded Premier badminton League, where she won two and lost one against China’s Han Li in the semifinal contest.

In 2012, Saina had conceded the first round match despite being on match point against Russian Ksenia Polikarpova after complaining of knee problems. It left the organisers disappointed as Saina was not keen on playing and had already booked her return tickets to Hyderabad.

With Saina withdrawing, P. V. Sindhu will head the Indian challenge and she has a bright chance of laying her hands on the trophy as she is brimming with confidence after winning the Malaysia Masters last week.

The 25-year-old, who was conferred with the Padma Bhushan award yesterday, is the best bet for India at the Rio Olympics and has to be at the top of her game to earn India another medal at the Games.

Among others who pulled out of the event, World No. 11 Tommy Sugiarto is the most prominent name. The withdrawl of the Indonesian, who had an unbeaten run at the PBL, handed an easy first round match to India’s Sourabh Verma, who will now take on compatriot Rahul Yadav Chittaboina.

In men’s singles, defending champion Parupalli Kashyap, who was supposed to face Spain’s Pablo Abian, will now meet qualifier Oscar Bansal in the opening round, while Siril Verma, the new world No. 1 among junior men, will face 11th seed Boonsak Ponsana in his opener.

The Olympic bronze medallist cited illness as the reason behind her last-minute withdrawal.

P.V. Sindhu Defeats Gilmour For Second Malaysia Masters Title

Malaysia masters 2016

Sindhu continued her victory run in the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix title 2016, winning the title for the second time in her career with a comprehensive 21-15, 21-9 win Without breaking a sweat over Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour in 32 minutes.

P.V. Sindhu. (Image Courtesy:

P.V. Sindhu.
(Image Courtesy:

Sindhu, with good court coverage, began by taking an early 5-2 advantage and stretched it to 10-6 in the first game. Her smashes were connecting well, catching the Scottish off-guard. There were a host of improvements in Sindhu’s net game and placements, and it was evident in the way she adjusted her drop shots.

This is Sindhu’s fifth Grand Prix Gold title, and second in Malaysia having captured the crown back in 2013.