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Sridhar uses experience to top Rangga for crown

Sridhar uses experience to top Rangga for crown

Dubai’s Kerala ranked Mohammed Munawar and Indian national doubles star Nandagopal Kidambi triumph against Izzuddin-Zainudin

By Moni Mathews (Principal Correspondent)

Published: Sun 14 Jun 2015, 11:55 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:45 PM

India’s Anup Sridhar receives the winner’s trophy from Vasu Shroff after the finals of the India Club Open Badminton tournament in Dubai on Saturday. — Photo by Mukesh Kamal

Dubai — Anup Sridhar, former world top 25 player, was in command except for a brief period in the first set of the men’s super league singles summit clash of the 38th India Club UAE Open Badminton Tournament, on Friday night.

The six-foot plus Indian veteran defeated Dea Adi Rangga, former Indonesian junior player and a coach here now, 21-17, 21-12 in 35 minutes in the Global Hawk Imaging & Diagnostics LLC backed event that included 26 categories for all age groups.

In the men’s super league doubles title round, Dubai’s Kerala ranked Mohammed Munawar and Indian national doubles star Nandagopal Kidambi defeated Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Zairul Hafiz Zainudin of Jaguh Tangkis Badminton Club, Kuala Lumpur 21-18, 21-19 in 35 minutes of pulsating action in the long championships that saw 712 players take part this season.

Rangga, the ‘open’ category runner-up to his Indonesian colleague Imam Adi Kusuma Admaja, played a fast paced game to keep up to Sridhar’s variations and long reach to level the issue at 15all in set one. That was the best Rangga could do for the night.

“I did try my best. Sridhar’s experience and class of being a former world top 20-25 player was too hot to handle in the end,” Rangga said, “Coaching is my main occupation now and I don’t play in tournaments of this level anymore.”

Sridhar of Toms Badminton Academy, Bangalore, said: “Rangga did very well when I was tentative initially. His good training and experience back in Jakarta helped him to keep the scores close.”

In the semis, Sridhar beat Kusuma, the bronze medallist this time, 21-18, 21-4 while Rangga got a walkover from Muhammad Hafiz Hashim who pulled out due to a strained back muscle.

For Nandagopal, brother of Indian singles superstar Srikkanth Kidambi, 2015 happens to be a good year following his gold and bronze in the men’s and mixed doubles at the National Games in Kerala.

“They had more firepower in their smashes and I made mistakes which added pressure on Munawar but the closing stages of both sets saw us make fewer mistakes. We kept on attacking back as Munawar covered well in the late stages,” said Nandagopal.

Former world singles superstar Hafiz Hashim who runs the Jaguh Tangkis Badminton Club, said: “The pressure told on the inexperience of the young Izzuddin and Zainudin at the crucial moments after they led with considerable margins in both sets.”

Haritha M. Harinarayanan, Kerala’s top doubles player who took part in the women’s championships returned home last night with three titles in her baggage.

Long time UAE-based Amritha Kuttikrishnan an ex-varsities representative in Tamil Nadu, won a double here apart from the silver medal in the women’s singles.

The other sponsors for the event were Yonex; E-Max Electronics; Rolla Residence Hotel Apartments;106.2 Hum FM; Air India; Carrera Sunglasses; Consolidated Shipping Group and Supervision Opticals among others.

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