Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chetan Anand wins Spanish Open badminton title

Chetan Anand capped his brilliant run to beat Henri Hurskainen of Sweden in a thrilling three-setter and win the men's singles title at the Spanish Open badminton championship in Madrid on Sunday.

Anand, seded fifth in the tournament, pulled off a 21-17, 19-21, 21-14 win against Hurskainen to script a memorable win.

Another India, little-known Neha Pandit, rode on some impressive wins to reach the final of the women's singles event.

In the final Neha, who had to qualify for the main draw, lost to sixth seed Maria Elfira Christina of Indonesia 16-21, 4-21.

National champion Anand has shown red-hot form throughout the season and reached the final of Indian Open in April vanquishing some world class shuttlers.

Anand's biggest victory in the tournament came against top seed Andre Kurniawan Tedjono of Indonesia in the semifinal on Saturday.

Anand thwarted a tough fight from Tedjono and kept his cool in vital moments of the game for a 21-17, 9-21, 22-20 win.

His other victories came against Marcel Reuter of Germany, Andi Hartono and Stanny Kusuma, both from Indonesia, in the first three rounds.

The World no 49 will surely get a boost in his ranking after clinching the Spanish Open.

Neha finally came out of the shadow of her more illustrious compatriots Saina Nehwal and Aditi Mutatkar.

She stunned some big names and seeded players to enter the final of the 32-player event. Neha's best win was against third seed Anu Nieminen of Finland. She was a set down in the second round match but came back to clinch it 18-21, 23-21, 21-16.

She showed nerves of steel as she won two more cliff hangers against Emelie Lennartsson of Sweden and Karnie Jorgensen of Denmark in the quarterfinal and semifinal respectively.