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Gopichand wins Asian Satellite crown
October 27, 2004 22:24 IST
Former All England champion Pullela Gopichand celebrated his comeback after a long injury lay-off with a clinical victory in the final of the US $10,000 Asian Satellite Badminton Championship in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
He thrashed compatriot J B S Vidyadhar Rao 15-6, 15-1 in the men's singles final to romp home with the title.
The women's singles title went to Soratja Chansruisukto of Thailand, who defeated compatriot Meemek Monthila 11-9, 11-3.
A beaming Gopichand said the victory has given him a "good boost" and he will now play in the Singapore Open next month.
With the victory Gopichand gained 200 points in the international rankings.
Gopichand and Vidyadhar, who know each other's game very well, dished out some quality play, but it was marred by arguments with the chair umpire.
In the first game, despite some quality shots from Vidyadhar, Gopichand steadily reached 13-1 when complacency sneaked into the 31-year-old champion's game and the youngster smashed his way to pick up five more points. But Gopichand regrouped to settle the issue at 15-6.
Changing strategy in the second game, Vidyadhar succeeded in drawing Gopichand from one flank to the other and attacking the vacant end with cross-court smashes. But a heated argument with the chair umpire when the score read 4-1 in favour of Gopi, broke the tempo of the game.
From then on, it appeared the players were merely going through the motions. Gopi went on to win the game and the match at 15-1, his first title win after coming out of a nearly nine-month hibernation.
"I had been working on this for the past three months... it's always good to have a victory at home," Gopi said, adding that he would plan out a training schedule and select tournaments judiciously.
Besides the Singapore Open, to be held next month, he said he would see if he could play the Lucknow ranking tournament.
In the women's singles final, Soratja, with her high serves and power-packed smashes, outplayed Meemek to win the first game at 11-9. The second game was a one-sided affair with Meemek giving up without putting hardly any effort against her superior rival, who took the game at 11-3 to win the title.
In the all-Indian doubles final, Jaseel P Ismail and V Diju defeated Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas 15-9, 15-1 while womens' doubles title went to Mundiastiri Rani and Apriliana Rintan of Indonesia, who got the better of Soratja Chansrisukot and Meemeak Molthila of Thailand 15-4, 15-5.
Results (all finals)
Men's singles: P Gopichand bt JBS Vidyadahr Rao 15-6, 15-1.