Basel: Men’s singles No. 1 seed Shi Yuqi of China had to dig deep in his Swiss Open final clash against the World No. 22 Indian player B Sai Praneeth, beating the Indian player 19-21, 21-18, 21-12 in 68-minute to pick up his first international title of the year.
Sai Praneeth who outlasted Rio Olympic champion Chen Long in the semi-finals, continued his remarkable control of the net to open an 18-12 lead in the first set. However, he started to make several consecutive unforced errors that allowed Shi to level the score at 19-19. Shi then launched an out of bound attack, before Sai Praneeth scored the winner with a cross-court smash.
The second set was also a neck-and-neck affair as Shi started to up his tempo after the interval to start the reversal of fortune for himself as he successfully forced a decider with a powerful smash towards Sai Praneeth’s body.
Shi had the edge in experience and the crowd on his side in the decider as he constantly dominating the pace of the rallies with accurate strokes. The Indian eventually ran out of gas in the second half of the decider when Shi launched a successful body smash at Sai Praneeth.
The women’s singles final saw last week’s All England champion Chen Yufei was in a class by herself as she kept attacking the backhand of Japan’s Saena Kawakami to score her second consecutive titles in two weeks with a 21-9, 21-16 victory.
Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto from Indonesia who lost to Malaysia’s Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik in the All England semi-finals last Saturday, appeared more confidence at the crucial moment to finally able to win the Swiss Open final against Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin of Taiwan 21-19, 21-16.
“Alhamdulillah, we played really well by controlling the net, and forced our opponent to lift the shuttlecock, which allowing us to launch attacks. We were more patient too,” said Ardianto after the match.
“This title definitely boosted our confidence, especially after losing the All England semifinals last week in a close match. Hopefully we can do better in the future,” added Ardianto.