The Awadhe Warriors fought till the very end but couldnt prevent the Mumbai Rockets from clinching a close 2-1 win in the opening match of the 2016 Premier Badminton League in Mumbai on Saturday.
Here’s how all the action unfolded:
Men’s Singles: RMV Gurusaidutt(MR) vs Sai Praneeth(AW)
It was Sai Praneeth, who took the early lead in the contest, leading 5-2 after the opening 7 points before leading 8-5 at the interval mark to put early pressure on his opponent. After the interval, though, Gurusaidutt made a defiant comeback into the game, clinching 5 out of next 8 points to make it 10-13 and then saved 4 game points to make it 14-14 to take the match into a sudden death.
Unfortunately, though, he couldn't hold on to his nerve at that moment and lost the game 15-14. Despite losing that game, there was no doubt that it was, Guru who carried the momentum into the second game and it showed in his exploits as he raced away to a 5-1 lead, before leading 8-4 at the break.
As much as Sai tried to close the gap down, it was Guru who was in control, chipping away with the points to eventually clinch the game 15-10 and take the match to a decider.
The decider started off on an even note but at the 2-2 mark, it was Guru who took the lead, winning three points straight to take a 5-2 lead. But Sai put in a tremendous fight to win 4 out of the next 6 points to make it 6-7. But it was Guru, who had an 8-6 lead at the interval.
Guru continued to dominate proceedings even after the interval and eventually sealed the game 15-8 to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Final Scoreline-RMV Gurusaiutt beat Sai Praneeth 14-15 15-10 15-8
Men’s Doubles: Vladimir Ivanov/Mathias Boe(MR) vs Hendra Gunawan/Cai Yun(AW)[Trump Match called by AW]
After losing the opening match, the Men’s Doubles tie assumed much large significance for the Warriors. The match began on an even keel as neither team managed to break the deadlock for the opening 12 points, but courtesy two straight points, it was the pair of Boe and Ivanov who led 8-6 at the break. The Rockets pair continued to put pressure on the duo of Gunawan and Yun and eventually clinched the opening game 15-11.
The second game started off on a similar note as the 1st but at the 3-3 mark, it was Gunawan and Yun, who took the lead, clinching three straight points to go 6-3 up. But the Rockets pair won three points of their own to level he scores at 6-6 and then won two more points consecutively to lead 8-6 in the interval.
The Rockets tightened their grip over proceedings after the break, despite the Warriors trying their best to stay alive and eventually clinched the game 15-11 to clinch the Trump tie and take a 3-0 overall lead.
Final Scoreline- Vladimir Ivanov/Mathias Boe beat Hendra Gunawan/Cai Yun 15-11 15-11
Women’s Singles: Ruthvika Gadde(MR) vs Vrushali Gummadi(AW)[Trump Match MR]
In the absence of Saina Nehwal, it was Vrushali Gummadi who took to the court for the Warriors and was on the backfoot straight away as Gadde took an early 5-2 lead but Gummadi fought back very well to make it 7-7. Despite that late surge in points, though, it didn’t prove to be enough as Gadde clinched the opening 15-13.
The second game saw Gadde start off in impressive fashion once again racing away to an 8-5 lead as the Warriors ship continued to sink. Gummadi tried her best to stay alive but it didn't prove to be enough as the Gadde won the second game 15-10.
Final Scoreline- Ruthvika Gadde beat Vrushali Gummadi 15-13 15-10
Men’s Singles-HS Prannoy[MR] vs Tanongsak Saesomboonsak[AW]
Perhaps the most thrilling contest of the night came in the match between HS Prannoy and Tanongsak Saesomboonsak. With the Warriors’ back clearly against the wall, The Thai slowly but steadily crawled his way back into the opening game after Prannoy had got off to a flyer again and clinched the game 15-12 to give his side some hope.
But Prannoy didn't throw in the towel so soon and stormed back into the contest to clinch the second game at a sudden death stage at 14-14 to take the match into a decider.
The deciding game proved to be yet another topsy-turvy affair but unlike the second game, Saemsonboonsak held on to his nerve this time and clinched the game 15-14 to hand his side their maiden win of the night.
Final Scoreline- Tanongsak Saesomboonsak beat HS Prannoy 15-12 14-15 15-14
Mixed Doubles-Vladimir Ivanov/Kamila Juhl[MR] vs Bodin Issara/Christina Pedersen[AW]
The Mixed Doubles affair saw the Warriors pair take an 8-7 lead at the interval mark in the opening game, following which they gained total control of proceedings, winning 7 out of the next 9 points to win the first game 15-9.
Like the second Men’s Singles, the Rockets came back strongly in the second game, winning it 15-14 and taking the match to a decider. The third and deciding game saw the Rockets take an early 4-0 lead, but the Warriors made a fine comeback, first winning 7 out of the next 12 points to make 7-9 before making yet another comeback at the 11-13 mark to win 4 out of the next 6 points to take the game and the match 15-14.
Final Scoreline-Bodin Issara/Christina Pedersen beat Vladimir Ivanov/Kamila Juhl 15-9 14-15 15-14