Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Hemanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday announced a cash reward of Rs three lakh for shuttler B. Sai Praneeth for his title-winning exploits at the Thailand Open Grand Prix.
However, Thongnuam's challenge was short-lived as Praneeth smashed some great shots to take a bigger lead and before you knew it, he had won the second game and set up the final match against Jonatan Christie, the fourth seed from Indonesia. He reached the final of Syed Modi International earlier this year at Hyderabad, before losing to Sameer Verma. But I tried to slowly and slowly build up and I am happy I could win. Sai Praneeth lost the first game 17-21 when Christie had the upper hand by consistently taking the lead as the Indian played the catching up game. He caught up at four-all, seven-all, 14-all and 17-all before Christie reeled off four points in a row to win the game. The Indian, while holding his nerve snatched two quick points to win the title.
The Indian, who was trailing 7-2 in the decider, managed to claw back. However, the Indian slowly made his way up with five consecutive points to reduce the margin to 7 -8.
At 17-17, Praneeth won two crucial points to take a 19-17 lead but only to concede the advantage.
The third seeded Praneeth comfortably beat Pannawit Thongnuam of Thailand 21-11 21-15 in their men's singles semi-final that lasted 36 minutes.
In 2016, Sai Praneeth had won the Canada Open Grand Prix. Praneeth looked comfortable, and as the second game progressed, he gained more confidence. "But, I am glad that I am really playing well", he said on winning his maiden Grand Prix Gold title. Soon, Praneeth levelled with his opponent at 9-9.