Bulgarian International: RMV Gurusaidutt reaches final, Indian shuttlers in doubles finals as well

RMV Gurusaidutt
RMV Gurusaidutt was on a long break because of injuries
Sudeshna Banerjee

Indian shuttler RMV Gurusaidutt put behind a frustrating period ravaged by injuries to reach the final of the Babolat Bulgarian International 2017 in Sofia, Bulgaria on Saturday. The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist came back from a game down to get the better of Turkey’s Ahmetcan Oruc, 9-21, 21-8, 21-8 in the semi-finals in 49 minutes.

An ankle injury and surgery resulted in Gurusaidutt spending a lot of time on the sidelines since July 2016. His only match so far this year was at the Thailand Open in end of May where he had succumbed to a 12-21, 12-21 defeat to Indonesia’s Panji Ahmad Maulana.

After pulling out of two further tournaments, Gurusaidutt made a comeback to the circuit this week at the Bulgarian International. Since his ranking has dipped to a lowly 962nd, the former World No. 19 had to play the qualifying rounds where he won three rounds to book a main draw berth.

In the main draw, Gurusaidutt won four rounds to enter the summit clash. Having not conceded a game until the semi-finals, he was given some stiff resistance by the 21-year-old Turkish shuttler Oruc, who is perched at 576th in the current world rankings.

In the final, the Indian will cross swords with Turkey’s Muhammed Ali Kurt, who is ranked 268th.

Also read: Interview with RMV Gurusaidutt: "Indian badminton is gaining attention more than ever before"

Indian shuttlers aim for two doubles titles

Besides Gurusaidutt in men’s singles, India will aim for titles in two other categories. Sanyam Shukla will be vying for titles in both the men’s doubles and the mixed doubles categories.

In men’s doubles, he and Arun George are up against the third seeds Miha Ivanic and Andraz Krapez of Slovenia. The Indians caused a huge upset in the semi-finals as they stunned the top seeds Lukas Osele and Kevin Strobl of Italy, 21-17, 21-10.

In the mixed section, Shukla and Ahillya Harjani will take on fellow unseeded combine of Dominik Stipsits and Antonia Meinke of Austria.

Shukla and Harjani have been giant-killers and put on a show of resilience in the semi-finals where they ousted the fourth seeds Dimitar Yanakiev and Mariya Mitsova 17-21, 22-20, 26-24 in a tight contest that lasted 49 minutes.

The two had also accounted for the top-seeded Italian team of Kevin Strobl and Silvia Garino in the second round.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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