Singapore, April 17: Sai Praneeth on Sunday won his maiden Super Series title by defeating compatriot Kidambi Srikanth in the final of the Singapore Open Super Series. Notably, Praneeth won the game by 17-21, 21-17, 21-12 in a 54-minute contest.
However, it was the first time when two Indians clashed in a Super Series final and Praneeth made the most of it in his maiden Super Series final appearance. Kidambi, who entered the final as favourite, dominated the first game and won 21-17. Trailing 1-7 at one point in time, Praneet made a solid comeback in the second game and made it 11-10 at the break. With three back-to-back points from the baseline, the Indian shuttler won the second game 21-17 to take the match into a decider.
In the decider, Kidami looked in a sublime touch as he won the first two points. But, Praneeth had some other plans. Praneeth carried the momentum and surged to a 7-3 lead which he consolidated to 11-5 at the break. It was another towering smash on Srikanth's backhand which gave him the lead. In the end, a drop shot gave Praneeth a 19-12 lead and Srikanth handed him the match point when he hit wide. Praneeth made it count to seal his first Super Series title when his compatriot again hit wide.
Earlier, Praneeth defeated South Korea's Lee Dong-keun in straight games by 21 -6, 21-8 to enter into finals. Whereas, former World No. 3 Srikanth notched up a 21-13 21-14 win over Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting to reach the third Super Series final of his career.
In the Singapore Open Badminton tournament, T Y Tai has won the Women's Singles title beating Carolina Marin in straight sets 21-15, 21-15. In the Men's doubles event, the pair of M Boe and C Mogensen defeated the J Li and Y Liu duo 21-13, 21-14. In the Women's doubles, the pair of K R Juhl and C Pedersen beat the pair of M Matsutomo and A Takahashi 21-18,14-21, 21-15. In the Mixed Doubles, the K. Lu and Y Huang duo defeated the duo of P Dechapol and S Teiratennachal 19-21, 21-16, 21-11.
Importantly, Praneeth has some big wins in his career, which include victories against 2003 All England Champion Muhammad Hafiz, former World and Olympic champion Hashim of Malaysia, and three-time Olympic silver medallist and World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.
Interestingly, Rio Olympics Silver medalist PV Sindhu made an exit in the quarterfinals after losing to 4th placed Carolina Marin of Spain. The pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sumeeth Reddy also bowed out.