Bengaluru: In the ongoing Premier Badminton League that was held in Bengaluru on Saturday, Hyderabad Hunters’ Carolina Marin defeated Bengaluru Smashers’ Ashwini Ponnappa to win the tie in favor of her team.
Hyderabad Hunters were off to a flying start when Sameer Verma came out firing against the more experienced Boonsak Ponsana of Bengaluru Smashers by seeing off Ponsana 11-8, 11-7.
Bengaluru Smashers then levelled the tie with 1-1 when their mixed doubles pair Ko Sung Hyun/Sikki Reddy overcame Hyderabad Hunters’ Carolina Marin/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy 11-9, 11-7.
Current World No. 3 men’s singles player Viktor Axelsen won the crucial ‘Trump match’ for Bengaluru Smashers with an 11-5, 11-6 victory against Sai Praneeth of Hyderabad Hunters to help Bengaluru to take a 3-1 lead in the tie.
However, Hyderabad Hunters refused to go down without a fight. Tan Boon Heong/Tan Wee Kiong completed a stunning 2-1 comeback win over Ko Sung Hyun and Yoo Yeon Seong to reduce Hyderabad Hunters’ deficit to 2-3.
In the deciding match, the spectators were surprised to see Ashwini Ponnappa of Bengaluru Smashers who was known for her exploits in doubles, playing the singles match against the much seasoned Carolina Marin of Hyderabad Hunters. Nevertheless, Ponnappa produced a brilliant first game to claim the set 11-9. Marin then fought back to win the second set 11-5, before winning Hyderabad Hunters’ ‘Trump match’ by winning the decider 11-8 to hand Hyderabad Hunters with a 4-3 victory.