B D Narayankar
PUNE: Carving out a sterling performance, fourth seed Shushruth Karmarkar stole the thunder by pulling off a spectacular upset over top seed Ramchandran Shlok in the semi-finals of U-13 Boy’s State Open Badminton Championship at WIE Sports Complex here on Tuesday.
Dishing out a superlative game, Shushruth of Mumbai suburb came up with a fantastic performance by dashing the hopes of his rival Ramchandran of Mumbai suburb and racing away to a 21-15, 21-15 verdict.
Shushruth was a revelation, playing as a possessed man. The fourth seed came up with measured and controlled game. His anticipation was dead perfect throughout the match. His skills of countering Ramchandran’s attack were inimitable.
What really snatched victory from Ramchandran were Shushruth’s finishing strokes. They had sting in them that jolted his rival’s confidence, who conceded vital points in crucial junctures of the match.
Another special thing about Shushruth was that he showed patience by dexterously playing a waiting game and mixing it well to launch an attack. Everytime Ramchandran tried to up the ante, Shushruth was equal to it. Most of the time, he won the battle on that count.
At times, Ramchandran showed the glimpse of his class when he tried blocking a flurry of attacking smashes. Everytime an exasperated Ramchandran tried to wriggle his way out of the trouble, he succeeded at a very few occasions.
The top seed found it difficult to break Shushruth’s rhythm. He failed to loosen Ramchandran’s grip. With his confidence dipping, he conceded points in a heap.
Shushruth did not take much time to provide the finishing touches and ended Ramchandra’s resistance much earlier than anticipated.
Like Shushruth, second seed Sudhanshu Medsikar (Pune) had a point to prove. He eased out third seed Harsheel Dani of Mumbai suburb 21-16, 20-22, 21-15 in the U-13 boy’s singles semi-finals.
RESULTS: Semi-finals: U-13 boy’s singles: Shushruth Karmarkar (Mumbai suburb) bt Ramchandran Shlok (Mumbai suburb) 21-15, 21-15; Sudhanshu Medsikar (Pune) bt Harsheel Dani (Mumbai suburb) 21-16, 20-22, 21-15; U-16 girl’s singles: Gauri Ghate (Greater Mumbai) bt Sai Purandare (Pune) 21-19, 21-16, 21-15; Tanvi Lad (Greater Mumbai) bt Mugdha Pande (Mumbai suburb) 21-6, 21-11.