Hyderabad: Ruhi Raju of Suchitra Badminton Academy secured a silver medal in the women’s singles at the Santo Domingo International Series at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At 16, Ruhi was one of the youngest players in the draw and was unseeded.
In the finals she went down 18-21, 21-12, 13-21 to top seed Fabiana Silva of Brazil who is ranked No. 72 in the world. The title round lasted 53 minutes and was replete with long rallies.
Earlier in the semifinal, Ruhi upset the rhythm of seed No. 3 Jaqueline Lima of Brazil, defeating her in straight games at 21-18, 21-11 in 26 minutes.
In the quarterfinal, Ruhi turned the tables on second seed and one of the tournament favourites, Nikte Alejandra Sotomayor of Guatemala, ranked world No.98 in women’s singles, with a 21-18, 21-19 win.
In the second round Ruhi silenced Canada’s Camille Leblanc. She lost the first game and was down 7-13 in the second but managed to win 17-21, 21-19, 21-15. In the first round Ruhi stormed past local girl Waldelys Tajeda 21-7, 21-4 in just 17 minutes.
Ruhi feels that her main strength is her adaption to different game styles based on court conditions and her opponents. She aims to achieve great heights like her idol Tai Tzu Ying, the current world No.1.
Final: Ruhi Raju lost to Fabiana Silva  18-21, 21-12, 13-21. Semifinal: Ruhi Raju bt Jaqueline Lima  21-18, 21-11. Quarterfinal: Ruhi Raju bt Nikte Alejandra Sotomayor  21-18, 21-19. Second round: Ruhi Raju bt Camille Leblanc 18-21, 21-19,21-15. First Round: Ruhi Raju bt Waldelys Tejada 21-7, 21-4.