Basel (Switzerland), March 17 (IANS) India's B. Sai Praneeth gave a tough fight before losing to top seed Shi Yuqi of China in the men's singles final at the Swiss Open badminton tournament, here on Sunday.
Placed 22nd in the world rankings, Praneeth fought for an hour and eight minutes before the World No. 2 from China claimed a 21-19, 18-21, 12-21 verdict.
Praneeth was playing his first final in almost two years. The last time Praneeth featured in a final was when he won the Thailand Open title in June 2017.
The early stages of the opening game was a neck and neck battle before the Indian clamied six consecutive points to take a 15-9 lead. Although Shi managed to draw level at 19-19, Praneeth held his nerves to win the first game.
The second game was another closely fought affair. Praneeth won four consecutive points to take the 13-10 lead, but Chinese levelled the scores at 15-15.
It was another neck and neck battle till 18-18 before Yuqi earned three straight points to win the second game.
The Chinese was far superior in the third and final game. Praneeth gave a tough fight in the early stages before the Chinese won three points to take a 7-4 lead.
Shi continued to outplay Praneeth from thereon to take the game and the match.