Shuttler B Sai Praneeth defeated Thailand’s Jonatan Christie in a hard fought match to win the $1,20,000 Thailand Open Grand Prix badminton championships in Bangkok today, an ANI report said today. He defeated the fourth seed 17-21, 21-18, 21-19 in an hour and 11 minutes to lift the title. This is Praneeth’s second straight title win, after the Singapore Open win. He reached the final of Syed Modi International earlier this year at Hyderabad, before losing to Sameer Verma.
Praneeth did not get good start in the final today as he lost the first game, however he went on to win the remaining two sets, the PTI said. “I was just focusing on the rallies. It was a difficult match. The rallies were going too long. But I tried to slowly and slowly build up and I am happy I could win. I thank everyone who supported me,” Praneeth was quoted as saying by the news agency after match. During the first set, the Indonesian shuttler, at one stage, was leading 14-11 but the Indian made a comeback to make 14-14. However, Christie found himself leading 18-17 soon, before wrapping up the first set with with three points on the trot.
The Indian shuttler, bounced back brilliantly in the second game, by surging ahead 9-3 but could not continue with same pace as his opponent won six consecutive points to make it 9-9. After this, it was a neck-and-neck contest till 15-15 before Praneeth took two-point lead to make it 17-15. After leading at 17-16, Praneeth managed to bag three more points to move ahead 20-16, before winning the set 21-18, the agency report added.
In the last and final set, the Indonesian started off briskly to take a lead at 8-3, but the Indian shuttler slowly and steady made comeback with five consecutive points to reduce the the points gap to 7 -8. Soon, Praneeth levelled with his opponent at 9-9.
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When both shuttlers were levelled at 17-17, Praneeth gained two points to take19-17 lead but again conceded the advantage. Christie then bagged next two points to tie at 19-19. The Indian, while holding his nerve snatched two quick points to win the title.
Congratulations to B Sai Praneeth for wining the Thailand Open badminton tournament. India is elated on the accomplishment: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 4, 2017
Later in the day, Narendra Modi hailed Praneeth win. “Congratulations to B Sai Praneeth for wining the Thailand Open badminton tournament. India is elated on the accomplishment: PM @narendramodi,” tweeted the official handle of the Prime Minister, the PTI report said.