Praneeth beats Srikanth, clinches maiden Super Series title at Singapore Open
This is the first time that two Indians will be battling it out in a Superseries Final.
Instead, the one who lost his nerve in the end was Srikanth, letting a considerable 7-2 lead in the second game - and with it the match - slip past him. "He was the one who made Indian badminton so big through the Premier Badminton League and getting the World Championships and Super Series to India", said Praneeth. "I am really happy to see Sai win his first Superseries title". I could finally win a Super Series title.
Nearly equally matched in age and rankings, Praneeth and Srikanth, who train together under coach Gopichand at his academy in Hyderabad, were far from enthused by the prospect of playing each other in the final. "I began to get back my game".
In the decider, Praneeth carried the momentum and surged to a 7-3 lead which he consolidated to 11-5 at the break.
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Ginting grabbed three points to narrow the gap but Srikanth soon sped ahead at 11-6 with a towering smash. Srikanth didn't look settled from the very first game of the tournament.
The Spaniard still failed to find her rhythm in the second, as a composed Tai dictated the pace and saw out the game comfortably. Explaining the logic behind his stand, Gopi Chand told Mirror, "According to me it is ok to go play those tournaments for exposure and ranking when you are 18-19".
It was Srikanth's turn to make silly errors.
Sai Praneeth, a protege of former All England champion P. Gopichand, counts several famous wins over some of the game's greats in his resume. "It worked." Once he took the lead at 17-15, Praneeth never looked back as Srikanth blundered on his service and hit long. "Praneeth was more patient, and that ended up being the difference between the two", Gopichand said in an exclusive chat with NDTV. "It's the reason why I have this medal today".
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