B Sai Praneeth defeated world No 29 Kidambi Srikanth 17-21, 21-17, 21-12 in an all-Indian men’s singles final to lift the Singapore Open Superseries badminton title on Sunday. The 24-year-old Praneeth took 55 minutes to finish off the match which saw two closely fought first two games. In the decider, Sai Praneeth quickly opened up a 16-9 lead and sealed the match.
This was the first time that two Indians featured in a men’s singles Superseries final and India became only the fourth country to have both players in a Super series final. The other three are China, Denmark and Indonesia.
With this win on Sunday, Praneeth took his head-to-head record against his more experienced rival Srikanth to 5-1. Praneeth had won the Canada Open last year and also won the last time the two squared off. It was at the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow.
Srikanth, who has won the 2014 China Super Series Premier and 2015 India Super Series and also reached the quarterfinals of Rio Olympics, began well but Praneeth showed great resilience and kept coming back it him. In the end, the fitter player on the day took the title.
Srikanth is the first Indian to claim a Superseries title since the graded events became part of the world badminton calendar when he stunned Chinese great, Lin Dan in straight games in the final on his home turf.