Fighting to stay in the match, B Sai Praneeth was trailing 3-8 in the second game and needed to make a comeback. He had made it to his second final after winning the Singapore Open. Suddenly, he got renewed energy in his game. And that brought life back into the game against Jonatan Christie. The Indian came out on top against Christie to win his second consecutive title by winning the Thailand Grand Prix Gold.
Apart from his effort, Sai Praneeth feels it was his improved fitness level that has made the difference in game which has also helped him win the two titles.
“Winning titles is always great and very important. After Singapore Super Series, I immediately won my next (Thailand Open) tournament and I am very happy about it,” Praneeth said. “I have become more fitter. I have trained for long time. Before Singapore I trained for six weeks and after that I have trained for a month, and I think that is where my fitness level has increased. My fitness has improved and I am playing better.”
Praneeth said he is confident of his game and he needs only fitness to win titles and thinks the fitter he is, the more titles he will win.
“Only the fitness level. I need only fitness to win titles. Overall I have my game, I have good strokes, but without fitness those do not work. So if I am fit enough I think I can win many more titles. So fitness is the key for my game. All coaches and everyone know that the only key for my game is fitness. So, I just need to maintain and improve it so that I can play well,” he said.
And he is going through one of the best phases of his career. After winning the two titles, the Indian shuttler is now focussed on the upcoming Indonesian and Australian Open before he goes to World Championships in August.
“Winning back to back titles…this is best phase till now. After playing India, Malaysia and Singapore (tournaments) and winning Singapore and Thailand tournaments, obviously now I am more confident. I am prepared well. Now I have just four days left (for Indonesian Open). I am playing good and I am fit enough. I will continue my training and get ready for the upcoming tournaments.
“World Championship is a very big event and I am really looking forward to it. For World Championship, I have six weeks time (after the Indonesian and Australian Open). That is good enough to prepare for the World Championship. If I train for five to six weeks continuously I think it’s good enough for me,” Praneeth said.
India national badminton coach P Gopichand hoped that these titles serve as motivationa for Praneeth.
“I am very happy that Praneeth has won his second tournament this year. He has performed so well and I hope this serves as a motivation for the future as well and we will continue to have more results from him in the next few months and years. In fact in the last few days we had some great successes. At the Sudirman Cup championship also, our team had a very good outing. Very happy that we were able to beat Indonesia 4-1. All the players whether in singles or doubles have performed exceptionally well in the event. Very happy about the overall performance,” he added.