Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Sai Praneeth scripts maiden Super Series final win

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Kristopher Love | 18 April, 2017, 02:56

This was Praneeth's first appearance in a Super Series final, the biggest events on the global badminton calendar.

"To be facing someone you've played a thousand times before, practiced with another zillion times, had meals with three times a day and are around practically throughout the day daily, in a match, particularly for a title, can be an exasperating experience".

This win for Sai Praneeth also marks just the second title win for an Indian at a Super Series event.

"I've always been playing well against top players like a year ago with Lee Chong Wei, but did not win any tournament. I think maybe I lacked a little bit of match practice in the end".

It was Tai's fifth consecutive Super Series title and her second victory over Marin in less than two weeks, having already triumphed at the Malaysian Open final. That gap was reduced to just two points at 1614 to create some nerves for Srikanth.

Srikanth did not relent either and came up with down the line smashes to grab five game points. "I began to get back my game".

In the final game, Praneeth started brilliantly and went on to take a 10-3 lead in no time. He gathered many points on Praneeth's forehand with his brilliant returns. "It worked." Once he took the lead at 17-15, Praneeth never looked back as Srikanth blundered on his service and hit long. This resulted in errors from Ginting's racket and Srikanth building a strong 91 lead. There was turnaround of fortunes and it was the skillful Praneeth who called the shots with a clever game to canter home to clinch his maiden Super Series title. "Praneeth was more patient, and that ended up being the difference between the two", Gopichand said in an exclusive chat with NDTV.

While both shuttlers are expected to have good crowd support today, the one who handles the pressure better is likely to walk away with the title.