RUSSIAN OPEN 2016 – Pranaav and Sikki take 2nd straight title

Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy Nekakuhiri took their second straight Grand Prix title as India won two at the Russian Open in Vladivostok. By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives) […]

Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy Nekakuhiri took their second straight title as India won two at the in Vladivostok.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Just over a month ago, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy Nekakuhiri (pictured) ended a title drought of more than six years for India in mixed doubles when they won the Brazil Open.  Today, they made sure Indian badminton fans would have almost no wait at all for another mixed title as they beat All England champion Vladimir Ivanov and 11-time Russian Open winner Valeria Sorokina in straight games.

The mixed title was not just the second straight for Pranaav and Sikki this year but it was also the second straight victory for India on finals day.  19-year-old Ruthvika Shivani Gadde (pictured bottom) beat Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya handily to take the women’s singles title.

With her first Grand Prix title, Ruthvika became the third Indian woman this year to win a major title, after P. V. Sindhu won the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold and Saina Nehwal won the Australian Open Superseries.  As for 16-year-old Siril Verma, he came close was unable to become the fourth Indian to win a major men’s singles title in 2016.  He lost out to Malaysia’s Zulfadli Zulkiffli, who also won a title in Brazil last month.

The men’s and women’s doubles finals were all-Russian affairs.  In the men’s final, All England champions Ivanov/Sozonov prevailed over Abramov/Zinchenko, giving Vladimir Ivanov the ninth title of his career at his home event.

With her win in the women’s doubles final, Olga Morozova (pictured right) became the second first-time Grand Prix champion on the day, after Ruthvika.  Morozova and Anastasia Chervyakova won narrowly in the second game against compatriots Evgeniya Kosetskaya / Ksenia Polikarpova.  For Chervyakova, it was her second Russian Open title, as she had won it in 2013 with Nina Vislova.

While most of the finalists will be taking a week or two off, the three Indian finalists are continuing their ‘European tour’ by playing the Dutch Open.  However, as the Russian Open just finished today in Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East, they will have 3 days to adapt to the 8-hour time difference in Almere.

Final results
WS:  Ruthvika Shivani Gadde (IND) [4] beat Evgeniya Kosetskaya (RUS)  21-10, 21-13
XD:  Pranaav Jerry Chopra / Sikki Reddy Nekakuhiri (IND) [2] beat Vladimir Ivanov / Valeria Sorokina (RUS)  21-17, 21-19
MS:  Zulfadli Zulkiffli (MAS) [1] beat Siril Verma (IND)  16-21, 21-19, 21-10
WD:  Anastasia Chervyakova / Olga Morozova (RUS) [1] beat Evgeniya Kosetskaya / Ksenia Polikarpova (RUS)  21-14, 22-20
MD:  Vladimir Ivanov / Ivan Sozonov (RUS) [1] beat Konstantin Abramov / Alexandr Zinchenko (RUS) [2]  21-15, 21-14

Click here for complete results


Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @