Hyderabad, April 18 (IANS) Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth, who clinched his maiden Superseries title at the Singapore Open on Sunday, is keen to ensure consistency. He said on his return to the home town on Tuesday that he would work hard to continue winning.
Praneeth defeated compatriot Kidambi Srikanth in a historic all-Indian final in Singapore Open Superseries.
Praneeth and Srikanth — his practice partner at Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy — shared their experiences with the media.
World No.30 Praneeth, who had won the Canada Open Grand Prix last year and reached the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold final this year, defeated Srikanth 17-21, 21-17, 21-12.
He thus became the fourth Indian after Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and Srikanth to win a Superseries event.
“I was waiting for it for a very long time and I am happy to finally win it,” said the Hyderabadi shuttler.
He said he was practicing for this tournament for over two months and did not play All England to focus on the fitness.
For the first time in the history of Indian badminton, the two Indians clashed in the final of a Superseries and both Praneeth and Srikanth were happy to be a part of this feat.
“We both felt very happy. Before the match we did not speak about it. We were not so serious about it. We had a chat like on any other day, we cracked jokes and we dined together,” said Praneeth.
The 24-year-old, who came back in the match after losing the first game, said he was not bothered about winning or losing but wanted to give his best. “I wanted to get my rhythm back and after going down in the first, the rallies were showing good,” he said.
“We were happy that both of us are in final. No matter who wins or loses, India was already a winner and the crowd was enjoying with the chants ‘India jeet gaya’,” recalled Srikanth.
He hoped that there will be many more all Indian-finals in future and noted the fact that the academy was producing many champions, which will promote competition and excellence.
IDBI Federal felicitated Praneeth and Srikanth with cheques of Rs.3 lakh and Rs.2 lakh respectively.
It also presented a cheque of Rs.3 lakh to Sindhu for winning the Indian Open Superseries title.
Speaking about Singapore Superseries final between Praneeth and Srikanth, she said it was a fantastic game and both played well.
India chief coach Pullela Gopichand said last few weeks were good for Indian badminton. He also hailed the victories of junior players at the national and international level.