Badminton Life

India's Anand Triumphs in Germany

Just weeks after Sania Nehwal wins a tournament in Taiwan, it was the turn of an Indian male shuttler to steal the headlines in his home country.

Chetan Anand became the first Indian male to win a significant tournament since Pullela Gopichand's 2001 All England victory when he lifted the Bitburger Open Grand Prix title in Saarbruecken, Germany over the weekend.

In fact, India were guaranteed their moment of glory with the fourth-seeded Anand beating his compatriot and seventh seed Arvind Bhat 23-25, 24-22, 23-21 in a nerve-jangling final.

To add to the 30-year-old Anand's delight, his wife Jwala Gutta joined forces with V. Diju to win the mixed doubles title in the same four-star tournament.

The duo recovered from a first-game drubbing to beat Denmark's Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinne Pedersen 8-21, 21-17, 22-20.

Anand was quoted as saying in the Indian media: "It is a dream come true for me and Jwala. We have been waiting for this day for long. This is just the start and many more titles will come our way.

"I have played Bhat before and I know his game. I am in good shape for the last few weeks and I was confident of winning the final. I was down in the second and third game as well, but I took my chances and it paid off."

Anand agreed that it was more a game of patience than anything else as he tried to stifle his opponent.

He said: "When I went 14-19 down in the decider, I remembered the Goa nationals earlier in the year where I just played on his patience to win. I played the same way and thankfully the strategy worked once again."

Overall, both players struggled to play their best and it was simply a case of who was able to stay on his feet the longest.

Said Arvind: "The quality of the game was not that good at the start. But in the decider, Chetan raised his game."

India came close to pulling off another victory in the women's singles with Aditi Mutatkar reaching the final.

However, despite a battling performance, Mutatkar fell to Indonesia's Maria Febe Kusumastuti 22-24, 21-8, 23-21.

Maria had earlier upset Julian Schenk, the second seed from Germany, in the semi-finals.

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