Malaysia’s Zulfadli Zulkiffli edged India’s Anand Pawar 18-21, 21-11, 21-17 in a hugely entertaining final of the Yonex Brazil Grand Prix.
Zulkiffli got off to a nervous start as he struggled for rhythm and seemed unable to anticipate where Pawar was trying to place the shuttlecock. The result was the Indian winning the first game 21-18.
However, Zulkiffli, who is just 23-years-of-age, regrouped and fought back impressively in the second game, winning it 21-11. His movement was smooth and he began to play with confidence.
The third game followed a similar pattern as Zulkiffli continued his dominance. His intensity and accuracy could not be matched by his opponent as he won the third game 21-17 and with it claimed the match and the tournament.
Zulkiffli was ranked as the best player heading into the tournament and he managed the burden of expectation that was placed on his shoulders extremely well.
Pawar was ranked fourth and will be pleased with his performance.