Singapore, April 16: B Sai Praneeth clinched his maiden Super Series title with 17-21, 21-17, 21-12 win against Kidambi Srikanth in the final of the $350,000 Singapore Open here on Sunday.
After losing the first game 17-21, Praneeth staged a tremendous come back from being 1-6 in the second game by winning 10 out of the next 14 points, to head into the break leading 11-10. After the break, Praneeth managed to hold on to his lead. A service error by Srikanth gave three game points to Praneeth, as he clinched the second game 21-17.
In the third game, Srikanth opened up a slender two point lead, before Sai won five straight points to take a 5-2 lead. Sai won six out of next nine points to go into the break leading 11-5. After the break Sai ensured that he continued his dominance over his training partner to take the game 21-12 and with that the match in 55 minutes.
Srikanth, who has a fair bit of experience having played in two finals and winning both – the 2015 India Open and 2014 China Open, never looked settled after the first game. It was Praneeth’s all round play and array of strokes that pinned his rival down.
This was Praneeth’s first appearance in a Super Series final, the biggest events of the international badminton calendar. Previously, Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and Srikanth had won the coveted crown.
Indian Badminton touched a new high when Praneeth and Srikanth competed in the final, as India became only fourth country to have players on both sides of the court. China, Indonesia and Denmark are the other three.