Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth is an Indian badminton player born on 10th August 1992. He hails from Hyderabad in the Telangana district. He represents India internationally in Singles and Doubles categories.
B. Sai Praneeth was born to Seshadri Deekshitulu and Madhavi Latha. He comes from a humble family, where her parents work in a private company in Hyderabad. He has a younger brother B. Sai Praveen.
Sai Praneeth picked up an interest in badminton at a very young age. He was inspired by his maternal aunt, a former national badminton player, to try his hands at the sport. Eventually, he showed his enthusiasm and keenness to pursue the sport seriously. While studying in school, Praneeth used to travel 18-kilometer to reach the practice every day and dedicate 4 hours of badminton training.
Initially, Praneeth's parents didn’t afford to buy him badminton equipment as it was expensive, and later, they invested all their savings to purchase the equipment. Between 2005 and 2007, he took part in Under-13 and Under-16 badminton tournaments and demonstrated his badminton skills.
In 2008, Praneeth joined Gopichand Badminton Academy. He was one of the few students to have joined the academy launched by national coach Pullela Gopichand as soon as it opened.
Rise to Glory
After receiving training under Pullela Gopichand, his badminton career looked promising. In 2010, After announcing himself to the world with a Bronze medal at the World Junior Championships, he won his first senior international title in Men’s Singles, followed up with a doubles title with Pranav Chopra at the Iran Fajr International.
In 2012, he won his 2nd international title at the Bahrain International. That year, he reached the final of Tata Open India international but lost to compatriot RM Venkata Gurusaidutt.
In 2014, Sai Praneeth claimed his first National Title at the National Badminton Championships. That year, he was plagued with injuries and therefore resulted in inconsistent performances and a drop in rankings.
In 2015, he made a comeback and won three titles – Srilankan International Challenge, Lagos International, and Bangladesh Open International Badminton Challenge. The following year, In February, Praneeth won the Gold medal in Men’s Team event at the South Asian Games in Guwahati, Assam. That same month, he won the Bronze medal at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Hyderabad.
In 2017, Praneeth won his first Syed Modi International title. In 2020, he and his Indian team settled for Bronze at the Badminton Asia Team Championships
B. Sai Praneeth's international breakthrough came in 2010 when he won the first international medal by earning Bronze in Boys’ Singles at the World Junior Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico.
In 2013, he received the biggest win of his career when he defeated the 2003 All England Badminton Championships Titleist Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia in the first round at the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold. Later, he defeated the 2004 Olympic Gold-Medalist and the former World No.1 Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia in the first round of his final international match at the Indonesian Open.
In 2016, Praneeth broke into the limelight after defeating 3-time Olympic Silver-Medalist and former World No.1 Lee Chong Wee of Malaysia in the 1st round at the All England Badminton Championships. In July, he won his first Grand Prix Gold title by defeating South Korea’s Lee Kyun-il at the Canada Open. The following year, he won his 2nd Grand Prix Gold title at the Thailand Open by defeating Jonatan Christie of Indonesia.
At the 2018 Asian Games, he reached the round of 16 and lost to eventual Gold-Medalist Jonatan Christie of Indonesia.
In 2019, he reached the final of the Swiss Open but ended up as Runner-Up after losing to China’s Shi Yuqi. That year, Sai Praneeth bagged his first World Badminton Championships medal by winning Bronze after losing to Kento Momota in the semi-finals in Basel, Switzerland, and created history by becoming the first Indian male shuttler to win a World Badminton Championships medal since 1983.
As of March 2021, Sai Praneeth has a chance to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics as he’s in the top-16 with a rank of 15 as per the BWF rankings list.