Indian mixed doubles pair of Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra clinched their maiden Grand Prix title, bagging the Brazil Open with a straight game victory over Canadian combo of Toby Ng and Rachel Honderich in the finals, in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. The top seeded Indian pair, who are ranked World No. 65, prevailed 21-15 21-16 over second seeds Toby and Rachel in a 37-minute summit clash at Costa Cavalcante.
“(sic.)Mine and Pranaav Jerry Chopra first Grand Prix title, m so so so sooooooooooo happy,” wrote Sikki on her facebook page after the win late last night. “I would like to thank my family Neelakurthi Madhavi Prajjun Reddy and dad who believed in me and sent me to this trip at their expense. Last but not the least Tan Kim Her, Pullela Gopichand Arun Vishnu, Sumeeth Reddy. You all made me stronger with each passing day, I may be the one who does all the hard work, but you are the one who motivates me to do it. You all are my ultimate source of inspiration,” she wrote.
Sikki, who has been a part of the bronze medal winning Indian team at the 2014 and 2016 Uber Cup, has so far played with six mixed doubles partners, including V Diju, Alwin Francis, Tarun Kona, Manu Attri and K Nandagopal. The 23-year-old won as many as five international challenger titles last year which includes two mixed doubles and three women’s doubles crowns.
At Uganda Open, Sikki won both the women’s doubles and mixed doubles titles, partnering Poorvisha Ram S and Tarun respectively, while at Romanian Open she clinched the mixed doubles title with Tarun. With Pradnya Gadre, Sikki clinched two titles in women’s doubles at Polish Open and Laos International last year.
Pranaav and his men’s doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar had created a flutter at the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold this year when they reached the finals after defeating Korean combo of Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang in a gruelling semifinals. The 23-year-old Ludhiana lad was part of the Indian team that stunned mighty China 3-2 to win a bronze in the Asia Badminton Team Championships.
A national champion in the mixed doubles in 2010, Pranaav had started in Sutlej club in Ludhiana before moving to Mumbai where for two years he trained under Uday Pawar. In 2008, he joined Gopichand Badminton Academy and started competing on the international circuit.