B Sai Praneeth wins Singapore Open Super Series

Kidambi Srikanth1

"This is the best performance of my career", said B. Sai Praneeth shortly after winning the $350, 000 MetLife Badminton World Federation Super Series-OUE Singapore Open men's singles title, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sunday. This was Tai's fifth consecutive super series title.

"I have been playing well in this tournament and the final win is very special". "I've been waiting for this for a long, long time". But all that now seems to be the thing of the past as he played with fluency and exhibited good temperament.

With this win, Praneeth has increased his domination over Srikanth in head-to-head battles. But I have not won any tournament. "That was always uncomfortable in my mind". It was at the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow.

"I trained for one and a half months continuously. I think the way I train and my fitness has improved and it helped me". The tactics paid rich dividends as Praneeth snatched the game away from Srikanth to win it 21-17. "It's just a day and today was my day". But the face off in Singapore will be entirely different as Praneeth will be looking for his first Super Series title while Srikanth, who missed most of the previous year due to injuries, will be keen to clinch one more major title.

In another quarter-final match, Praneeth defeated eigth seeded Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 15-21, 21-14, 21-19. But this not deter the two to exploit every weakness that they knew in each other's game, putting up a brilliant skill show. "My win in the second game was the turning point of the match".

"When I got ahead by two points, I got confidence to pull off the victory".


"Later after the match, Praneeth said "it gives a great feeling". "We were struggling when we heard the news a few days ago".

With this title, won only by one other Indian, Saina Nehwal in 2010, Praneeth has lofted his reputation. "He's the man who has done a lot for badminton".

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.

Srikanth continued the second game from where he left off. Nearly all his matches, barring the semifinals in the tournament have been three-set affairs, a habit Gopichand isn't too pleased about.

I am really happy the way I played over the week, I didn t expect to be here when I left India so I m really happy. "I can take many positives from this".

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