Thursday, 17 August, 2017

Sai Praneeth enters maiden Super Series final at Singapore

B. Sai Praneeth Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth
Hilda Schwartz | 18 April, 2017, 03:00

Newly-crowned Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth says the historic all-Indian Super Series final against K Srikanth is a testimony that Indian badminton has progressed by leaps and bounds.

World No.30 Praneeth, who had won the Canada Open Grand Prix last year and reached the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold final this year, outmaneuvered Srikanth 17-21 21-17 21-12 in the summit clash of the Singapore Open a United States dollars 350,000 event. Till now only three countries - China, Indonesia and Denmark - had had two of their players contesting a men's final at a Superseries event.

It was the first time the two Indian players were facing each other at a Super Series event. The 24-year-old also has an impressive 4-1 head-to-head record over Srikanth, with his last win coming at the semi-final of Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold earlier this year. In the decider, Sai Praneeth quickly opened up a 16-9 lead and sealed the match. Once Sai opened a 10-3 lead and held a 11-5 advantage at the mid-game interval, he looked well on course. I think I suddenly lost concentration and I made too many mistakes when I was leading, ' said a disappointed Srikanth. "My win in the second game was the turning point of the match". Srikanth bagged the opener 2113 in 17 minutes after Ginting's push at the net went long.

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"I trained for one and a half months continuously". He strengthened his defence and made the Indonesian run to the corners with his wristy game and then produced some whipping smashes. Sai received $26,250 and Srikanth $13,300.

Srikanth did not relent either and came up with down the line smashes to grab five game points. The way I played in the tournament I m very happy.

In the Singapore Open Badminton tournament, T Y Tai has won the Womens Singles title beating Carolina Marin in straight sets 21-15, 21-15. The other three Indians: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth. She would hope to cross the final hurdle when she faces TaI Tzu Ying again tomorrow.

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