Swiss Open 2019: Sai Praneeth stuns Olympic Champion Chen Long to reach final
The world number 22 did face a stiff challenge in the initial stages from the former Chinese number 1 and Rio Olympic Gold medalist, but Sai Praneeth proved his worth and won the match 21-18, 21-13.
The first game was a tight affair as both players fought for each point before Sai held his nerve to win it 21-18. In the second, Sai dominated and did not allow the Chinese to play his brand of attacking badminton, winning it 21-13 to move into the finals. It was Sai's first win over Chen Long in three attempts.
The Indian had lost to Chen in the Indonesian Masters this year and at the Asian Championships last year in April.
Sai will take on top seed Shi Yuqi in the finals. The world number 22 has been simply sensational in the tournament so far and the win against Chen Long will give him a lot of confidence going into the finals.
Sai has some experience playing in major finals, having won the Thailand Open Grand Prix and Syed Modi International tournament in 2017. He also won the prestigious Singapore Super Series tournament, beating Indian Kidambi Srikanth to become just the 4th Indian to win a Super Series title after Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and Kidambi Srikanth.
The Indian will be looking to perform at his best and bring glory to the country when he steps foot on the court for the final.
In other matches, Parupalli Kashyap, Ajay Jayaram, Sameer Verma, and Subhankar Dey featured for India in singles but did not go beyond the quarterfinals. In doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty reached the quarterfinals along with Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy who also progressed till the same stage.