This time though, it was his time to make the family proud as he entered the mens singles final of the Yonex-Sunrise Mathrubhumi senior National-ranking badminton tournament at the V.K.K. Menon indoor stadium on Saturday.
After shocking top-seeded Ansal Yadav in the morning, junior national champion Kiran defeated Air India’s M. Mithun (AI) in straight games and will meet Telangana’s A.S.S. Siril Varma in Sunday’s final. Siril defeated Uttranchal’s Dhruv Rawat in the other semifinal.
READ | Hemanth lets top-seeded Ansal off the hook
While the men’s singles matches were quiet affairs, the women’s semifinals more than made up for that. Air India’s 18-year-old Purva Barve, the junior national runner-up, set up a title clash with AAI’s Malvika Bansod.
Keeping her cool at the finish, the unseeded Purva packed off the top-seeded Kanika Kanwal in a three-game thriller while 14th seed Bansod breezed through the opening game but was forced to fight a tight decider against Maharashtra’s tall Vaidehi Choudhari, the fourth seed.
Malvika’s crosscourt drops frequently troubled her opponent and played a big part in her victory.
For a major part of the final game, Purva pinned Kanika to the baseline and played a patient game, waiting for her opponent to commit mistakes.
Kanika obliged and for a few minutes it did look like the women’s top seed could not see the sidelines properly. She repeatedly sent the shuttle out.
Still, Kanika fought her way back and levelled at 20, but Purva stayed calm and won the next two crucial points and subsequently, the semifinal.
Men’s singles semifinals: Kiran George (Ker) bt M. Mithun (AI) 21-18, 21-10; A.S.S. Siril Varma (TS) bt Dhruv Rawat (Utr) 21-13, 21-15.
Quarterfinals: Kiran bt Ansal Yadav (UP) 12-21, 21-11, 21-13; Mithun bt Rahul Yadav (TS) 21-18, 18-21, 21-8; Siril bt Aryamann Tandon (AI) 21-23, 21-17, 21-11; Dhruv bt Aman Kumar (Har) 21-18, 21-10.
Women’s singles semifinals: Purva Barve (AI) bt Kanika Kanwal (Rly) 21-19, 15-21, 22-20; Malvika Bansod (AAI) bt Vaidehi Choudhari (Mah) 21-7, 19-21, 21-19. Quarterfinals: Kanika bt Namita Pathania (Del) 21-11, 21-18; Purva bt Ira Sharma (Har) 11-21, 21-12, 21-13; Vaidehi bt Bhavya Rishi (Del) 21-6, 21-14;
Malvika bt P.C. Thulasi (Pet) 21-19, 11-21, 21-19.
Doubles semifinals: Men: Sri Krishna Sai Kumar (TS) & Gouse Shaik (AP) bt K.T. Rupesh Kumar & V. Diju (Pet) 21-16, 17-21, 21-16; G. Krishna Prasad (AP) & Dhruv Kapila (AI) bt Vighnesh Devlekar & Deep Rambhiya (Mah) 21-12, 21-14.
Women: Aparna Balan (Pet) & Prajakta Sawant (AI) bt Simran Singhi & Ritika Thaker (Mah) 21-13, 21-7; K. Maneesha (RBI) & Rutaparna Panda (Ori) bt Shikha Gautam (AI) & K. Ashwini Bhat (Kar) 21-16, 17-21, 21-19.
Mixed: Sri Krishna Sai Kumar (TS) & Kanika Kanwal (Rly) bt Muanis Mohamed (Ker) & Aparna Balan (Pet) 21-19, 17-12 (ret.); Rohan Kapoor (AI) & Rutaparna Panda (Ori) bt Sai Pratheek Krishna Prasad & K. Ashwini Bhat (Kar) 21-18, 21-12.