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09 Nov, 2021
Priyanshu Rajawat held off a spirited challenge from compatriot Sathish Kumar Karunakaran to secure the men’s singles title at the Viktor Ukraine International 2021. The young protégé won 21-17 21-18 in 46 minutes at the Lokomotiv Sports Palace in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Both players remained neck and neck right through the course of the contest, but it was Priyanshu who eventually triumphed in both games. Tied 10-all in the opening game, it looked like Sathish was very much in the contest but a four-point streak right after the halfway interval gave Priyanshu the slight edge. He then maintained this lead and secured the opening game without much trouble.
In the second game, Priyanshu made an excellent start to race into a 6-1 lead, which Sathish slowly wilted down and tied the game at 11-all. Another four-point streak post-interval seem to have given Priyanshu the definitive advantage, but Sathish wasn’t giving up all too easy, as he came back with five-points on the bounce to eke out a single point advantage 16-17 and was hoping to push for a decider.
Priyanshu, however, kept his composure and eventually closed the game and the match to secure the top position in the tournament.
In men’s doubles, Ishaan Bhatnagar & Sai Prateek narrowly missed out on the titles and had to settle for the silver medal. They lost a tightly fought opening game 21-15 but made a comeback in the second with 19-21 score line. The third and the decider seems to have got away from the Indian from the opening exchanges as the Malaysian pair raced to a 2-7 lead and never quite looked in trouble.
The 59-minute encounter finished 15-21 21-19 15-21.