Lucknow, Jan 27 : World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth notched up his first win of the season while World No 2 Tai Tzu Ying continued her winning streak as the Bengaluru Raptors met the Pune 7 Aces at the Star Sports Premier Badminton League 2020 at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here on Monday.
Having never played Yew on the BWF World Tour, the World No 11 Sai took some time to figure out the Singaporean. Yew was coming after the high of beating 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap in Pune’s first tie of the season. Carrying that momentum into this match, he stormed back from a 2-4 deficit to move ahead to 10-8. His pace and power really troubled the former Singapore Open champion who conceded the opening game 10-15. Change of ends, however, worked well for the Bengaluru ace. By injecting pace into his shots, he was able to turn around the match. Quick footwork and brilliant anticipation skills took the Indian to a huge 11-4 lead.
It was then a matter of time before he wrapped up the second game 15-7. Sai never relented and was able to maintain his aggression. The flurry of attacking shots from Sai’s end took the wind out of Loh’s sails as the Raptors star raced away to a 10-15, 15-7, 15-8 win.
The early stages of the women’s singles clash between former World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying and Pune’s Rituparna Das turned out to be lopsided as the former Indian national champion really struggled to keep up with the Chinese Taipei ace. Tai was fully in control of every aspect of the game before pocketing the opener 15-3.
The scene completely changed in the second game as Das relied on some exquisite placement of the shuttle to put Tai in a spot of bother. Infusing her strokes with a lot of power, Das built a strong lead of 9-5 but her advantage soon got erased once Tai found her rhythm. The Raptors Trump first levelled matters at 9-9 before finishing it off 15-3, 15-9 for her third win of the season.
Earlier, 22-year-old promising talent, Ansal Yadav gave a good account of himself on his PBL debut against World No 71 Kazumasa Sakai of the Aces. Showing oodles of determination, the Bengaluru player went down fighting to Sakai 14-15, 9-15. “It was a good game. I saw he beat Kashyap the last time. I am really happy with the win and I hope to continue the momentum. This is definitely a confidence booster. Hope this game is the turning point for us,” said Sai after his victory. (UNI)