Singapore Open | Sai Praneeth clinches title by beating Kidambi Srikanth on a historic day for Indian Badminton

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Singapore Open | Sai Praneeth clinches title by beating Kidambi Srikanth on a historic day for Indian Badminton

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SportsCafe Desk

04/16/2017

B. Sai Praneeth won the first Superseries title of his career by beating Kidambi Srikanth 21-17, 17-21, 21-12 in a historic All-India final of the Singapore Open. Despite Srikanth won the first game comfortably, Praneeth walked away with the honours by winning the next two games.

A historic occasion for Indian badminton as two Indians locked horns at a Superseries final for the first time ever, thus helping India join the elite club of China, Indonesia, and Denmark as the only countries to send two men into the title clash of a BWF Men’s Superseries tournament. Coming into the match, Sai Praneeth had a 4-1 head-to-head record over Srikanth. Praneeth had also prevailed over Srikanth in their last meeting at the Syed Modi International semi-finals. 

Praneeth raced to a 2-0 lead before Srikanth pulled level by taking two consecutive points in the next two rallies. Although Praneeth pocketed the next two points on a trot, Srikanth tactically kept him close to the net and took the scoreline to 5-4 in his favour.  Praneeth failed to put any pressure on his compatriot until the mid-way interval as the former world No.3, Srikanth, raced to an 11-7 lead.  The mid-game interval appeared to instill new zeal in Praneeth as he took the game to 14-15 before Srikanth managed to outclass him completely. He came up with a lovely flick, which landed just on the baseline to take the game 21-17. 

In the second game, Srikanth made fantastic use of his height and raced to a 5-1 lead in no time. Seeing Srikanth running away with the game, Praneeth upped his game and pulled level at 7-7.  Praneeth changed his strategy in the second game and tried to hit simple drop shots and not allowing Srikanth time to cover the court. The tactics paid rich dividends as Praneeth snatched the game away from Srikanth to win it 21-17.

In the final game, Praneeth started brilliantly and went on to take a 10-3 lead in no time. Determined to not let the game slip away, Srikanth fought hard to take the game to 17-11 but it was too little too late. Praneeth closed out the third set 21-11 to become the second Indian male to have a Super Series title- his opponent & the losing finalist Srikanth is the first.

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