With the victory, the title is Purva’s first in the year 2018 and third overall.
Pune: Defending champion Purva Barve for the second year in a row bagged the Women’s Singles (Under-19) title at the Israel Junior 2018 at the Sports Hall, Rishon LeZion, Israel.
Seeded No.4 in the event, the Nikhil Kanetkar Badminton Academy trainee won long drawn battle against third seeded and top-ranked Russian Anastasiia Pustinskaia 21-19, 19-21, 21-13 In a match that lasted an hour and six minutes. Incidentally, the match was the longest final of the day and was against a higher ranked opponent.
An elated, Purva said; “To defend a title is tough, no doubt. The field this year was tougher than last year and very competitive. I am happy to land the title once again.”
The title is her first in 2018 and third overall. Earlier she won the Israel Junior 2017, Italian Junior International 2017 apart from a bronze at the Russian Junior White Nights 2017.
Ranked No. 20 on BWF Junior Rankings charts, Purva in her run to the title got past three seeded players - Anastasiia (World No 18), Elena Andreu (Spain; 41) and Anastasiia Shapovalova (Russia) (Russia; 34).
In the semis Purva breezed past sixth seeded Elena 21-9, 21-12, but had to negotiate two other three game encounters to advance. In the quarterfinals, Purva was pushed by No. 8 Anastasiia Shapovalova before posting a 21-19, 15-21, 21-17 win.
Earlier, Purva opened her campaign with a bye before unseeded Anastasia Osiyanenko (Russia) gave her a Round 2 scare by winning the first game ans then losing 19-21, 21-8, 21-6. In Round-3, Purva downed Anastasiya Prozorova (Ukraine) 21-16, 21-13.
Purva’s title winning run this year had her lose three games she played as compared to having a ‘clean sheet’ in 2017. However, in Israel Purva remains to be undefeated in 11 matches over 2 years.
NKBA Director and Head Coach Nikhil Kanetkar, said: “One notable aspect is Purva’s opponent (Lela Minadze; Russia) in 2017 is was past the 125 mark on the world ranks, while Purva is today a top 20 player, which itself explains the work rate she has put over the year.”
Final: bt 3-Anastasiia Pustinskaia (Russia) 21-19, 19-21, 21-13.
Semi-final: bt 6-Elena Andreu (Spain) 21-9, 21-12.
Quarter-final: bt 8-Anastasiia Shapovalova (Russia) 21-19, 15-21, 21-17.
Round 3: bt Anastasiya Prozorova (Ukraine) 21-16, 21-13.
Round 2: bt Anastasia Osiyanenko (Russia) 19-21, 21-8, 21-6.
Round 1: Bye