Pune, Dec 17: Playing after a month was always going to be tough for top-seed Anup Sridhar who was fully stretched by Mohit Kamat before recording a 21-13,19-21,21-13 win on the opening day of the All India Major Ranking Badminton tournament at the WIE complex here.
The Karnataka shuttler Kamat - a qualifier - almost matched the World No 25, before Sridhar's experience of playing at a much higher level prevailed yesterday. In the 50-minutes that Kamat and Sridhar fought there was nothing that could seperate the two. Game one saw both stay abreast till 11 points, before a eight-point surge by Sridhar swung the game in his favour. The second game saw Kamat fight hard as he led 12-16 then 14-19, before allowing Sridhar to level at 19 apiece and then pushed the match into Game 3.
In the decider Sridhar, who has always had close matches against Kamat, managed to keep ahead. In the latter part of the game he opened up a point to (14-12) advantage that swelled to seven points (20-13) before acknowledging Kamat's efforts with a pat on his back.
In yet another tight game No 5 Sachin Ratti and No 7 Utsav Mishra emerged as victors after three-game bat.
The women's section was devoid of seeded players in action, though the percentage of State players winning were more as compared to the men's section. Four state eves advanced as compared to just two men.