wnol.info July 23 2018


Praneeth overcomes Christie challenge to win Thailand Open

July 23 2018, 12:14 | Irvin Gilbert

ROSLAN RAHMAN AFP

B Sai Praneeth clinches second successive title with victory at Thailand Grand Prix Gold

But only B Sai Praneeth made it to the final, and he showed great character in the title-decider against Jonatan Christie to lift the title on Sunday. Praneeth defeated compatriot Kidambi Srikanth in April to win Singapore Open, his maiden Super Series title.

There was an air of confidence in Praneeth's play as the Indian won the second set, 21-18 in a hard-fought contest.

Praneeth strolled past Thailand's Pannawit Thongnuam 21-11, 21-15 in straight games in the semi-final on Saturday. While the first game was pocketed fast by the Indian, the Thai came back strong in the second to keep just a point's difference at the interval.

After losing the first game, the third-seeded rebounded strongly to register a 17-21, 21-18, 21-19 triumph over his Indonesian opponent Christie in an exhilarating summit showdown of the men's singles event that lasted one hour and 17 minutes.

Leading 17-16, Praneeth managed to bag three more points to move ahead 20-16.

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Jonatan took a 7-2 lead. Although he wasted two game points, he eventually won it 21-18.

The success in the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold extended Sai Praneeth's remarkable run in 2017.

Despite starting the tie as favourite, Praneeth, who will reach a career-high ranking of 17 if he wins today, should be wary of the in-form Indonesian teenager.

This was Praneeth's maiden Grand Prix Gold and second consecutive overall title win, following the Singapore Open victory.



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