PC Thulasi was the lone Indian to win a title in the Tata Open India International badminton challenge held at the Cricket Club of India on Saturday. On a day dominated by the Thais and Indonesians, the 19-year-old stunned everyone by beating the top seed Fransiska Ratnasari in the women’s singles in two straight games. She needed just 35 minutes to bag her first ever senior international title and along with it a prize money of $1,125.
Thulasi didn’t do anything extraordinary; she just played her usual game. But that was more than enough to beat Fransiska as she was totally off colour. Thulasi took complete advantage of the numerous unforced errors committed by her opponent and from being 2-5 down, she went ahead to win the first game 21-15. The following game was a one-sided affair with Fransiska giving away points to the Indian. Thulasi hit some timely smashes and played the drop shots to perfection to emerge victorious in the end.
“I did not expect anything before going into the game. I just kept my cool and played my usual game. She committed a lot of errors and I was benefited by that. It was comparatively an easy game for a final. My toughest match so far has been the one against second seed Jindapol Nitchaon of Thailand. She loved to play rallies and I lost the first game. But I did not give up and went ahead to win that match,” said an elated Thulasi after the match.
Having joined the Gopichand academy in Hyderabad in October, she said that the training there had helped her to a great extent.
Meanwhile, top seed Yunus Alamsyah fought from one-game down to clinch the men’s singles title. He defeated his compatriot Tommy Sugiarto in the summit clash 11-21 21-13 21-17. In a 60-minute thriller, the two Indonesians’ with their skilful play and acrobatics grabbed the unanimous attention of the crowd and put on some outstanding display of badminton.
Men’s singles: 1-Yunus Alamsyah (Ina) bt 5-T Sugiarto (Ina) 11-21 21-13 21-17
Women’s singles: PC Thulasi (Ind) bt 1-Fransiska Ratnasari (Ina) 21-15 21-13
Men’s doubles: Riyadi Joko & Yoga Ukikasah (Ina) bt 3-Akshay Dewalkar & Arun Vishnu (Ind) 24-22 21-16
Women’s doubles: 1-Savitree Amitapai & Somsri Nessara (Tha) bt Jindapol Nitchaon & Jindapol Pattharaporn (Tha) 21-6 21-18
Mixed doubles: 1-Patipat Chalardchaleam & Savitree Amitapai (Tha) bt 2-Arun Vishnu & Aparna Balan (Ind) 21-10 21-15