Chetan Anand falters in Indian Open finalApril 6th, 2008 - 10:11 pm ICT by admin
By Dev S. Sukumar
Hyderabad, April 6 (IANS) National badminton champion Chetan Anand’s dream of winning his first Grand Prix title remains unfulfilled as Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana outplayed him in the finals of the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold tournament here Sunday. To the disappointment of home fans, Anand failed to get past Ponsana’s craftiness, who took the control of the match in the early stages and lost the final 21-16, 21-12 at the Gachibowli Stadium.
Hong Kong’s Zhou Mi won the women’s singles crown, upsetting Lu Lan of China 21-14, 21-14. China, however, pocketed the men’s doubles and mixed doubles title.
Chinese combination of Guo Zhendong and Xie Zhongbo won the men’s doubles title defeating Chew Eng Choon and Chan Chong Ming of Malaysia 19-21, 21-14, 21-12, while He Hanbin and Yu Yang beat German duo of Kristof Hopp and Birgit Overzier 21-18, 21-9 en route to the mixed doubles crown.
After registering upsets over the higher-ranked Chen Yu of China and Andrew Smith of England, Anand was expected to provide a strong challenge to Ponsana. But the Thai asserted the Indian’s dominance early on and never let off his grip on the game.
The pivotal factor in Anand’s two big wins in the run-up to the final was his deception. But that was nullified in the final as Ponsana also plays the same sort of deceptive game - double shots, flicks and dribbles - and he had the added advantage of playing a more attacking game.
Tricky shots from Anand that would have floored lesser opponents kept getting back, with Ponsana anticipating correctly and adding some variety of his own.
Anand made it within striking distance with a body smash to make it 14-16 in the first game, but then, on the next point he smashed wildly and Ponsana stepped on the gas. The Thai kept using his big jump smashes to keep Anand on the defensive, playing the percentages well enough to maintain the lead.
In the second game his dominance was more pronounced. However, Chetan somehow managed to remain in the game on the long rallies, but Ponsana ruthlessly cut him short at other times. The closest the Indian could get was 7-9, and the lead kept getting bigger as the Thai refused to let him get any sort of rhythm.
Earlier, China was dealt a blow as All England finalist Lan fell to less formidable Mi. The match was a slow affair, full of deep tosses as both refused to get indulge into an attacking game. “The shuttle was fast, and neither of us wanted to commit mistakes, so we kept playing safe,” Mi said after the match.
Men’s Singles: Boonsak Ponsana (THA) bt Chetan Anand (IND) 21-16, 21-12
Women’s Singles: Zhou Mi (HKG) beat Lu Lan (CHN) 21-14, 21-14
Men’s Doubles: Guo Zhendong/Xie Zhongbo (CHN) bt Chew Eng Choon/Chan Chong Ming (MAS) 19-21, 21-14, 21-12
Mixed Doubles: He Hanbin/Yu Yang (CHN) beat Kristof Hopp/Birgit Overzier (GER) 21-18, 21-9
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Tags: added advantage, andrew smith, boonsak ponsana, chen yu, chetan anand, chinese combination, double shots, dribbles, eng choon, first game, german duo, gold tournament, home fans, kristof, mixed doubles, pivotal factor, second game, striking distance, sukumar, zhou