An assured-looking Malvika Bansod won the Hylo Open Super 300 tournament in Saarbrucken, Germany, on Thursday, one day after becoming India’s top women’s singles shuttler.
With a stunning victory over world No. 18 Kirsty Gilmour (24-20, 19-7), who had fallen behind by 12 points in the second game, Malvika, the 39th-ranked player, advanced to the BWF World Tour event’s quarterfinals.
Malvika struggled to get going against Scotland’s Kirsty, who was the 2014 CWG silver medalist and the 7th seed, and found herself down 7-11 after the first break. Malvika managed to keep Kirsty engaged in the game despite being down and cut the lead to 14–12 by scoring significant net points. Malvika kept her composure in the closing seconds to win the first game 24-20 in just 20 minutes after bringing it to parity at 20 points.
Malvika played aggressively after the switch of sides, surprising Kirsty, and the Nagpur shuttler quickly took an 11-6 lead. Following that, Malvika scored seven straight points to put the game out of reach for a struggling Kirsty, who left with a 7-19 deficit.
Kirsty had triumphed over Malvika earlier in their first encounter at the Uber Cup the previous year.
Sanjay Mishra, Malvika’s coach, was happy with how the young player performed against an accomplished shuttler. The last 6–7 years of diligent work paid off with today’s performance. She deserves all of these accomplishments, and I’m ecstatic for her. Even though we are improving her speed and power, I have faith in her performance. Mishta told TOI that there is still much work to be done.
Malvika will compete against Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia, who upset Chochuwong Pornpawee, the second-seeded player from Thailand, 21-14, 20-22, 22-20, in the quarterfinal.