Unnati Hooda’s Victory in Abu Dhabi Masters 2023
In a thrilling showdown at the Abu Dhabi Masters 2023, young Indian badminton talent Unnati Hooda emerged as the champion in the women’s singles event. This remarkable win marks her second BWF Super 100 World Tour title, further solidifying her reputation as a rising star in the sport.
A Stellar Performance in the Finals
In the final match held at the ADNEC Marina Hall in the UAE capital, 16-year-old Unnati Hooda went head-to-head with 20-year-old Samiya Imad Farooqui. In an intense battle that lasted for 40 minutes, Hooda showcased her exceptional skills and determination, ultimately defeating Farooqui with a scoreline of 21-16, 22-20. The victory was particularly significant as both players are currently ranked outside the top 100 in badminton rankings.
Unnati Hooda’s BWF Journey
Unnati Hooda’s journey to this significant victory is noteworthy. Last year, she made history by becoming the youngest Indian to win a BWF tournament at the Odisha Open, where she also defeated Samiya Imad Farooqui, this time in the quarter-finals.
The Decisive Moments in the Match
During the Abu Dhabi Masters final, Unnati Hooda seized the initiative early in the first game, going into the mid-game interval with a four-point lead. Although Samiya Imad Farooqui managed to reduce the deficit to one point, Hooda displayed remarkable composure and went on to secure five of the next six points, ultimately taking the first game.
The second game saw a spirited effort from Farooqui, who troubled Hooda with her cross-court shots and built a six-point lead at one stage (13-7). However, Unnati Hooda displayed resilience and determination, clawing back to level the contest at 18-all. In a thrilling climax, Hooda saved two game points to secure her title-winning victory.
Unnati Hooda’s Flawless Campaign
Throughout the tournament, Unnati Hooda demonstrated her dominance by winning all her matches in straight games, starting from the round of 32. Her consistent performance and unwavering determination propelled her to the top of the Abu Dhabi Masters.
Victorious Women’s Doubles Pair
In the women’s doubles category, Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto shone as they secured their first BWF title as a pair. They achieved this feat by defeating Denmark’s Julie Finne-Ipsen and Mai Surrow with a hard-fought scoreline of 21-16, 16-21, 21-8 in the final. This victory adds to the Indian women’s badminton team’s impressive record, following their win at the Nantes International Challenge earlier in the year.
India’s Overall Performance
While Unnati Hooda and the women’s doubles team celebrated their victories, India’s challenge in the men’s singles came to an end as Kiran George and Raghu Mariswamy fell short in their respective semi-finals. Additionally, the Indian men’s and mixed doubles teams could not progress past the quarter-finals.