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That will be all for the blog. Carolina Marin and Priyanshu Rajawat are the singles champions in Orleans, two winners from two spectrums of their careers. Here’s a look at the winners from today:
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 21-16 Magnus Johannesen: Here are the highlights of Priyanshu Rajawat’s win in the final.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 21-16 Magnus Johannesen: Priyanshu Rajawat on the podium and with his trophy. (Images via BAI)
Priyanshu Rajawat first caught our attention in PBL 2020, when we had written about his impressive performances.:
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 21-16 Magnus Johannesen: Here’s how the third game unfolded.
From Shlok’s Shuttle Zone column:
Every time I see Priyanshu get on the court I say “Wow, what a talent this kid is”. Priyanshu has had a breakthrough year making the historic Thomas Cup winning squad by winning the selection trials. He followed that up by winning the Raipur International Challenge and finishing second at Odisha Open and Bangladesh Open. He got into the top 50 for the first time in his career in January. After beating Christo Popov and making the main draw of the Indonesia Masters, he went down to Chico Aura 21-18 18-21 18-21. He also had a super tight first-round loss against Korean seasoned campaigner Kwang Hee Heo in Thailand. We will be seeing more of Priyanshu at the bigger World Tour events and if he plays close to his potential he will end up being in the top 25 by the end of the year. I see Lakshya Sen, Priyanshu Rajwat, and Kiran George spearheading India’s future Thomas Cup campaigns.
Priyanshu has the rare combination of being tall and extremely fast and often plays a high-intensity game. A bit like Ginting, which makes him stand out. He looks lanky but can surprise players with the power he generates with his big smashes, but his biggest weapon is his half-smash which comes down to his picture-perfect contact point. Extremely comfortable with playing slow and high-paced games, he is solid in defence which allows him to also play counter-attacking badminton, and has enough X-Factor about him to cause a threat to the best players in the world.
Priyanshu’s biggest concern is how injury prone he is as I do not see any red flags technically or tactically on the court. For someone that young, he has a pretty big injury list and he should have been in the top 30 by now. Having an injury-free year on tour will give him a lot of experience and I have no doubt he is going to be one of the top three men’s singles players in the country soon.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 21-16 Magnus Johannesen: And he has done it, Priyanshu Rajawat is a Super 300 title winner.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 20-16 Magnus Johannesen: Another cross smash goes wide. Should Priyanshu challenge that? He doesn’t.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 20-15 Magnus Johannesen: One saved. A Priyanshu error there. Another match point saved as Priyanshu misses a smash.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 20-13 Magnus Johannesen: That is good defence by Priyanshu but the point eventually goes to Magnus. But he sets up match points with that crosscourt shot again.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 19-12 Magnus Johannesen: The winner we saw so much in the opening game. Crosscourt round-the-head.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 18-12 Magnus Johannesen: The verve is back for Priyanshu, in his shot-making.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 16-11 Magnus Johannesen: Rajawat with a good winner at the net, great anticipation.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 15-11 Magnus Johannesen: A brilliant defence from Rajawat sets up a smash winner. He is staying ahead. An error next rally a Magnus gets the serve back,
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 14-9 Magnus Johannesen: Priyanshu with a good run of points after the interval.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 11-9 Magnus Johannesen: Priyanshu seems to be struggling physically but has a 11-9 lead at the final change of ends, can he hold on?
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 9-7 Magnus Johannesen: A service return winner for Priyanshu. That must feel like such a gift.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 8-7 Magnus Johannesen: 54 shots. Longest rally. And Priyanshu is on the floor, heads down. That was a brutal rally, and Magnus is looking like he is fresher by far at the moment.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 8-5 Magnus Johannesen: Priyanshu gets a good drop shot in but Magnus, as he has been doing, gets it back again and the error comes from the Indian. Quick points or bust at the moment it seems for Priyanshu. He wins a good rally next up though, despite great defending from Magnus again.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 7-3 Magnus Johannesen: That is not a good sign if you are a Rajawat fan. He is bent double after a long rally and doesn’t bother tracking back to get the clear back.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 6-2 Magnus Johannesen: What a rally. First great defence by Magnus, and then great defence from Priyanshu. And finally a tame end to the point as Priyanshu finds the net.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21, 6-1 Magnus Johannesen: A great start to the decider for the Indian, quick points.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21 Magnus Johannesen: Here’s how the second game unfolded. This is the first game Rajawat has dropped this week.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-21 Magnus Johannesen: A terrific rally with both players waiting for the other to throw a punch and in the end, Priyanshu tries a fancy slice that lands in the net. Punch of the fists from Magnus. He is rallying the crowd behind him.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 19-20 Magnus Johannesen: Aggression from Priyanshu at the net and two game points saved.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 18-20 Magnus Johannesen: Priyanshu with a crosscourt winner and this time Magnus wants the court mopped, hah.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 17-20 Magnus Johannesen: And just like that, game points.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 17-19 Magnus Johannesen: Magnus senses he is in a good flow. He is rushing between points, doesn’t want the court mopped.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 17-17 Magnus Johannesen: Another patient rally and this time Priyanshu with the error at the end.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 17-16 Magnus Johannesen: There’s not been too many of these, a power smash from Magnus catches Priyanshu off guard.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 17-15 Magnus Johannesen: It’s that crosscourt smash winner again! Superb from Priyanshu.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 16-14 Magnus Johannesen: Six straight points for Priyanshu as he goes into the lead with a crosscourt half smash. A longer rally follows where Priyanshu is patiently engaging. Longest rally, 36 shots and it ends with a Magnus error.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 14-14 Magnus Johannesen: Now Magnus is struggling with his radar and it is all level.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 13-14 Magnus Johannesen: Great body smash and Priyanshu is within a point now.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 12-14 Magnus Johannesen: We saw from Magnus yesterday how he can come back from a game down, lengthening rallies and giving it all in defence. A couple of errors from Magnus here and it brings Priyanshu back in.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 9-13 Magnus Johannesen: A 31-shot rally and it ends with a Priyanshu error. He was on the backfoot for most of it too. Starting to get away from the Indian a tad bit here as he nets a backhand crosscourt.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 8-11 Magnus Johannesen: Priyanshu shows the power of his jump smash again, nice winner. It is however Magnus with the lead into the interval, Priyanshu had to play the last point with broken strings and sends the shuttle wide.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 7-9 Magnus Johannesen: Priyanshu finding the net with a lot of his downward shots in this phase. A roar as Magnus nets one and a sign of nervous energy there. And then gets it right next point round-the-head again. Magnus’ turn to next land a good crosscourt plum on the line. Both have lost a review now.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 4-6 Magnus Johannesen: Brilliant clear from Priyanshu, lands in.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 3-6 Magnus Johannesen: Couple of errors from the Indian and the Dane is fighting back. The rallies are getting longer and Priyanshu is trying a few too many things.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 2-2 Magnus Johannesen: Superb rally. 28 shots. First Rajawat tries a crosscourt drop that Magnus puts in a great dive to get back and a couple of shots later, the Indian nails it again.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15 Magnus Johannesen: Here’s how the opening game unfolded.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15 Magnus Johannesen: With a superb round-the-head forehand crosscourt winner, Rajawat takes the opening game. Fitting to finish that game.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 20-15 Magnus Johannesen: Misjudgement from Magnus and game points for the Indian.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 18-15 Magnus Johannesen: Long rally, Priyanshu does well to control the tempo but Magnus keeps sending the shuttle back and gets the point.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 18-14 Magnus Johannesen: A rare reactionary rally from Priyanshu and Magnus gets the point with a lovely forehand drop. Then a couple of errors. Just taken the foot off the pedal here.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 18-11 Magnus Johannesen: Fantastic net shot sets up a big smash winner for Rajawat. He nailed from the back end of the court. That was not easy. Rajawat is running away with this now.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 14-11 Magnus Johannesen: More evidence of that forehand whipped smash from Rajawat. But Magnus is putting in a couple of good defensive efforts to close the gap. A point where Priyanshu has to repeatedly attack eventually goes his way. Magnus relying solely on his defence at this point.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 11-8 Magnus Johannesen: Prannoy-esque backhand winner from Rajawat and next rally, a brilliant piece of deception with his backhand crosscourt. A good lead in the mid-game interval.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 6-6 Magnus Johannesen: A rather extravagant attempt goes wide. Back level again.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 6-5 Magnus Johannesen: And now a good phase for the Indian. A crosscourt forehand smash that he nails, then a backhand crosscourt clear that lands in, and then another forehand crosscourt smash winner. Hello, radar.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 2-5 Magnus Johannesen: Magnus has found the better lengths in the early exchange. Like yesterday, the radar is taking a little time to fire up for the Indian.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat 2-0 Magnus Johannesen: Priyanshu to seve, we are underway.
MS Final, Priyanshu Rajawat vs Magnus Johannesen: This is how the two PFQ athletes made it to the final this week. Rajawat’s biggest win was the one against Kenta Nishimoto the top seed.
Men’s singles final, Priyanshu Rajawat vs Magnus Johannesen: A look at Priyanshu’s previous finals at all levels.
Men’s singles final, Priyanshu Rajawat vs Magnus Johannesen: The match is about to start now, this will be the first meeting between the two.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Indian badminton on BWF World Tour.
Today we will be tracking Orleans Masters Super 300 in France, where Priyanshu Rajawat plays in the men’s singles final. It’s the biggest title clash of his career so far, a final at this level for the first time.
It’s been a tournament of firsts for many players across the categories, perhaps not a surprise because it is the fourth European event on the trot and the big guns have either been tired or pulled out.
In a battle of unseeded players, Priyanshu Rajawat takes on Denmark’s Magnus Johannesen.
As per the BWF, “two 21-year-olds [are] new to the Tour, having played no more than 13 tournaments between them. Rajawat, imperious in his 21-12 21-9 win over Irishman Nhat Nguyen is nine events old while Magnussen only made his debut this season at the Thailand Masters. The Dane had a tougher time against Lei Lan Xi before prevailing 10-21 21-15 21-19.”
Screenshots in the blog via BWF TV / Tournament Software / Viacom18