Sai Praneeth continued to enjoy a magnificent 2017 as he clinched the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold badminton title by defeating Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie 17-21, 21-18, 21-19 in a closely-fought final in Bangkok on Sunday.
In a match that saw plenty of plenty of twists, the 24-year-old Sai Praneeth squandered a 16-14 advantage in the first game which Christie capitalised on, winning four consecutive points to take the game 21-17.
Sai Praneeth looked to be on top in the second game as he raced to a 9-3 lead. However, the Indonesian refused to back down and won six consecutive points to draw level in the game.
Praneeth, known for his range of shots and touch, held his nerve and towards the end of the game won three crucial points to win 21-18 and push the match into the decider.
In the final game, Praneeth and Christie were evenly matched, and at 19-19, it appeared anyone’s game.
Sai Praneeth, though, clinched the game 21-19 and the title, after a match that lasted 72 minutes.
The success in the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold extended Sai Praneeth’s remarkable run in 2017. In April, the ward of national coach Pullela Gopichand had defeated Kidambi Srikanth in an all-Indian Singapore Open Grand Prix final to claim his maiden Grand Prix title.
The shuttler from Andhra Pradesh had reached the final of the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow before his Singapore triumph.
In 2016, Sai Praneeth had won the Canada Open Grand Prix.