Super Sunday at the Singapore Open 2017 witnessed an epic all India showdown in the men’s singles final match. Counterparts B. Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth locked horns to grab the ultimate prize at the BWF Super Series. It was Praneeth who conquered the throne with an emphatic win over Srikanth with a scoreline of 17-21, 21-17, 21-12.
It was history in making as two Indians clashed for the first time ever in a super series final. Shuttlers Praneeth and Srikanth train at the Gopichand Academy under the guidance of Pullela Gopichand.
The road to the finals was a hard-fought one for both the shuttles since the draw was quite tough. There were world-class opponents in the fray. Battling it out through the course of the tournament, the two young Indian lads setup a historic clash on the slates.
Marching on to the arena as the favourite, Kidambi Srikanth started off well by taking up a an early lead into the first set, leaving no room for Praneeth to catch up. Subsequently he won the first set with a score of 21-17, leading 1-0.
In the second game, the former world no. 3 took a 6-1 lead even as Sai struggled to find his rhythm. But as the game progressed, Praneeth engaged Srikanth into long rallies. This move broke Kidambi’s winning streak and turning the tide away from him. Soon, Praneeth gained control of the net shots which prevented Srikanth from playing aggressive shots. Closing on the gap, Sai surged ahead in the third set finally winning it 21-17. It was 1 set all at this point of time.
Following this was the third and the deciding set. Praneeth employed the same strategy of controlling the net and forecourt which worked in his favour. At the halfway, he was leading 11-5. When the score was 12-20 in Praneeth’s favour, Srikanth hit the shuttle wide. The world no. 30 celebrated in delight.
Here is what B. Sai Praneeth had to say about the match:
“It is a big win for me. I am happy to win the title. Before the start of this tournament I did not expect to win the title”
” I did not have any plans as such. The more I played rallies, the more I was getting into rhythm. It was a tough match because we know each other’s game very well. I am delighted that I managed to pull it off.”
Srikanth lamented his loss but was happy about his performance in the tournament.
Meanwhile, the chief national coach Pullela Gopichand said that:
” I am very proud of them (Praneeth & Srikanth), they reaching the finals. It is a big tournament to win. He is still young and has many years ahead of him. It will hopefully give him the confidence to play at another level.”
Further he added that:
” If you look at his career, he has some big wins. He has beaten Taufik, Lee Chong Wei and many other top guns as well. So he has the quality but he needs consistency.”
Here’s wishing all our shuttlers the very best for the future tournaments. We are proud of you. Keep winning!