With the seeded players like Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu already eliminated from the tournament, B Sai Praneeth was the nation’s only hope in the quarter-final of the China Open, However, he couldn’t replicate his feat over Anthony Ginting from World Championships and went down 2-1 on Friday.
Sai Praneeth started the first game as the better player as he took an early five-point lead at 6-1, making it very difficult for Anthony Ginting to make a comeback. Praneeth went into the break 11-3 and kept his pressure on that to force Ginting to make mistakes. Though the Indonesian did brilliantly to slash the deficit to just three points at 14-11, Praneeth quickly took a six-point lead at 17-11 before eventually winning it 21-16.
However, the second game turned out to be one-dimensional after a hard-fought first game, which saw Praneeth going down 6-21. Ginting and Praneeth were on level until 4-4 before the Indonesian took a five-point lead at 9-4 before leading 11-5 at the break. Praneeth was expected to fight back but he remained surprisingly passive letting Ginting lead 5-16 before losing it 21-6.
The third and deciding game was expected to have all the rigours and the shuttlers didn’t disappoint either. Though Ginting remained the better of the two, thereby extending his momentum, Praneeth always came back to level things at 6-6, 12-12, and 13-13. However, after Ginting took a three-point lead at 16-13, there was no coming back for Praneeth who eventually lost 16-21.
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