Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnu Vardhan Goud had a dream international debut as they stormed into the men’s doubles final of the Orleans Masters BWF Super-100 tournament on Saturday.
However, Saina Nehwal and the women’s doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy crashed out of the tournament. Fourth seeded Saina lost to unseeded Line Christophersen 21-17, 21-17. The 21-year-old Danish shuttler, who is ranked 38 in the world took just 28 minutes to oust Saina.
In both the games, Saina did her best to stay close to Line but the latter won the big points towards the end to dominate the Indian.
Top seed Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai inflicted a straight game defeat on eighth seeded Indians Ashwini and Sikki 21-18, 21-9. Though the Indian girls put up some fight in the first game, they were completely outplayed by the Thais in the second.
In men’s doubles Krishna and Vishnu played with great coordination though they are a new pair.Trailing 9-12 in the first game they caught up with their opponents at 13-13 when they scored five straight points from 11-13 to 16-13.
In the second they took an early lead of 6-3 and were in command throughout the game.
Krishna said that one long year of training during the lockdown helped them.”Feels really happy that we are playing in the finals tomorrow. We have trained well during the lockdown and worked on our weakness physically and mentally and that boosted our confidence,” Krishna told TOI from Orleans.
“We just wanted to take one match at a time as we were underdogs and this is the first tournament with the new partnership. So we were not expecting much and just wanted to play our game and give the best,” said Krishna adding that they were well prepared for their opponents.
“We really prepared well for today’s match as we saw them playing. As there is nothing for us to lose there was no pressure on us. Coaches Mathias Boe and Gopi sir helped us a lot when the tournaments were not there,” Krishna said.
His partner Vishnu said, “We would like to thank Gopi sir and other coaches for putting the effort on our new pairing and helping us a lot. We are happy that we are in the finals of the first tournament we are playing.”
In the final, the Indians, who don’t have a rank, will face world No.18 English pair of Sean Vendy and Ben Lane. Fourth seeds Vendy and Lane fought back after losing the first game to beat Sabar Karyaman Gutama and Moh Reza Pahlevi Isfahani of Indonesia 10-21, 21-16, 21-13.