What was expected of a good second semifinal tie was hardly on show here on Thursday. Awadhe Warriors led 2-1 against w Masters at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium.
But Vladimir Ivanov defeated K Srikanth to force a decider.
What made the tie interesting was the vociferous cheering from the sparse crowd, which included international cricketers R Vinay Kumar, Stuart Binny, Bharat Chipli and former stars GR Viswanath and Sunil Gavaskar (brand ambassador of Mumbai Masters).
The crowd was more than happy to see Lee Chong Wei give Masters a good start. His rival RMV Gurusaidutt ended up fighting the Malaysian and the crowd.
Chong Wei was in a world of his own. Against Gurusaidutt, he did not have to use much of his game. The Malaysian resorted to a lot drops and dribbles that the Warriors’ player found hard to retrieve. But there were a couple of instances when Gurusaidutt paid his rival back in the same coin. That was when Gurusaidutt resorted to net play.
In the first game, Gurusaidutt did not trail Chong Wei by too much but the latter had the confidence of control. While that saw Chong Wei clinch the first game rather easily at 21-15, the second was a sail-through for him.
Lee hardly broke a sweat and, with a 21-7 win in the second game. The women’s singles match between Tine Baun and PV Sindhu was expected to be a stiff one. But it turned out to be just a tad better than the first men’s singles.