There was an air of caution in the final of the women’s category of the NSCI Open in Mumbai. Joshana Chinappa and top seeded Egyptian teenager Habiba Mohamed seemed content with trading points. That is until a hard knock on the nose from Mohamed’s racquet, midway through the second game, brought forward an aggressive tone to the match. The careful rallying was replaced by a flurry of aggressive short-game drop shots, eventually ending with Chinappa sealing the final 11-8, 11-9, 11-2, for her 11th tour win.
With the score at 1-3 in the second game to Chinappa, she was caught square on the bridge of her nose by the follow-through of Mohamed’s backhand swing. A ten minute pause ensued with the 28-year-old being treated for the bloody nose. When she did return, the world number 24 started slowly.
Trailing 2-7, she started pushing back strongly for the 11-9 win in the second game. “I knew Habiba had a reputation of being an aggressive player, but I didn’t know it could go like this,” Chinappa said . “She’s not an easy opponent, so I’m quite happy I managed to win it in straight games,” she added.
The third game was much more comfortable for the Indian, who continued to throw measured drop-shots and dominate the game. “It might have been the experience of me being on tour longer, but I still had to be careful while playing her,” Chinappa said.\
Meanwhile, compatriot Mahesh Mangaonkar fell short in the men’s final of the tournament, losing to world number 26 Adrian Waller 11-9, 11-2, 12-14, 11-6.