Vastavam web: Eighth-seeded Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and qualifier Riya Mukherjee, both from India, will contest the women’s singles final of the USD 20,000 Tata Open India International Badminton Challenge here tomorrow.The men’s final, also to be held tomorrow at the CCI’s badminton hall, will be between sixth seed Lakshya Sen of India and unseeded Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand.Later, Riya had to put her best foot forward to down junior national champion Ira Sharma, conqueror of top seed Rituparna Das in the quarter finals yesterday, 24-22 11-21 21-19 in the second semi final lasting 55 minutes.
In the men’s semis, Thammasin ended the run of India’s Mithun Manjunath by notching up a 22-20 21-6 win in 35 minutes. Later, Sen outplayed second-seeded compatriot Abhishek Yelegar 21-10 21-12 in 28 minutes.Ruthvika, who had beaten P V Sindhu in the SAFG final in 2016 before the latter went on to win the silver medal in the Rio Olympics, said she missed the first half of the year due to injuries suffered at last year’s International Challenge.
“I was to take part in the Tata Open last year but had to pull out after injuring my thigh and knee in the Hyderabad International Challenge. I was off the court till June this year when I took part in the Russian Challenge. I am not worried about my ranking (at present),” she said.Ira trailed 13-18 in the opening game before she made a grand rally and drew level at 19. She saved a game point at 19-20 and then held a game-point at 21-20 with a drop winner but could not utilise it.
Riya drew level with a smash winner, held her second game point at 22-21 which was saved by Ira and then took the first game on her third game point with a drop shot that was netted by her opponent.The two players fought tooth and nail in the decider which was close till 19-all before Ira smashed wide to give Riya a match-point that was taken advantage of by the latter with a net-flick to the baseline to enter the final.
In the men’s doubles semi finals, second seeds Manu Attri and Sumeet Reddy of India made their exit after being beaten in straight games by the Thai pair of Maneepong Jongjit and Nanthakarn Yordphaisong.