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Sai Praneeth: Hero for a Reason

By: Srishty Sharon
Date: 10 Aug, 2018
Image Courtesy: Badminton Photo

Sai Praneeth emerged as one of the most prominent badminton shuttlers of the country. He has always been a brilliant player and a man with true sportsmanship. He is acknowledged for his integrity and the down-to-earth nature. He is a player who has the courage and ability to admit his faults on-court. He has the capability to work on where he lacks and turns his weaknesses into strength. Sai is currently getting his training under the national coach, Pullela Gopichand at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy, Hyderabad.


Background


Sai Praneeth Bhamidipati aka B Sai Praneeth was born on 10th August 1992 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. The local Gachibowli boy has ambitious dreams from the genesis. He has always been an understanding son to his parents. His entire family lived in Hyderabad and his parents were working professionals. Since his parents were at a private service, they could not afford to buy the best badminton equipment for the shuttler. However, they soon noticed that their son has a great potential and therefore, his parents decided to put all of their saving for his interests. They purchased the badminton equipment for him and that’s how Sai Praneeth emerged as a successful badminton star of the nation. For his badminton training sessions, Praneeth used to wake up at 4 am and travel 18 km to catch a train, to travel for 4 more hours. His schedule was packed due to school and training, but the shuttler never stopped his hustle, and his hard work paid off ultimately.


Career


At an adolescent age, the shuttler started trying his hands in the sport of badminton. With the immense support and motivation of his parents, the shuttler embarked his journey for the shuttle sport and never looked back.


In the year 2010, Sai Praneeth made his presence felt at the BWF Superseries when he clinched his first Bronze medal in the Men’s Singles category.


In the same year, he also won the title of Men’s Singles at the Iran Fajr International and clinched the Men’s Doubles title with his partner Pranav Chopra. The year 2010 brought the shuttler 3 laurels, out of which 2 shines like the sun.


After 2012, his outstanding game and techniques rose to prominence. He won the title in the Men’s Singles category at the Bahrain International Tournament. The Tata Open Indian International followed suit, where Praneeth finished as the runner-up.


2015 turned out to be a tremendous year for the Indian shuttler. Not only he conquered the Sri Lanka International, but he also won the Bangladesh International Tournaments. In the same year, Praneeth won the Lagos International and made a hat-trick of winning Gold in the year 2015.


Later in 2016, he landed on the court to fight at the Canada Open Grand Prix, he clinched the title of Men’s Singles and won another gold of his badminton career. It was his maiden trophy of Grand Prix tournaments. He also participated at the Asia Team Championships, held at Hyderabad, where he won a bronze medal.



In 2017, Praneeth partakes at the Syed Modi International badminton tournament, where he won a silver laurel. Right after this, he won the Thailand Open 2017. The shuttler was sure on a roll, and he continued conquering gold in the next tournament. The Singapore Open 2017 was destined for Praneeth. He won the Men’s Singles title and showcased his advanced talent to the world.


Remarkable Victories


Every badminton player lands on the badminton court to defeat their shuttler and clinch the trophy. They have badminton idols, who are legendary players, with whom they seek a chance to play and understand their games. Sai Praneeth not only got a few chances to play with the legends, but he also foiled out many of them and stunned everyone.


When the shuttler clinched the trophy of Thailand Open Grand Prix, nobody thought that he would stun Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia, who is the 2003 All England Champion in the inaugural round.


2013 has been a great and the most memorable year for the Indian shuttler. It was unexpected for Praneeth to defeat the legendary shuttler Taufik Hidayat at the Indonesian Open 2013, in his home ground and ruining his farewell from the badminton world. Not many are aware but Sai Praneeth always looked up to Taufik Hidayat and he remained his sole inspiration to follow the sport. In the same year, he bites a bullet with the former World No 4 Hu Yun of Hong Kong, whom he whipped out at the Singapore Super Series. In the Same tournament, he defeated his compatriot, Kidambi Srikanth to win the title.


Also in 2016, at the All England Super Series Premier, Praneeth beat the seeded Malaysian shuttler Lee Chong in the opening round. He might now have won the titles and matches in many of these tournaments, but he surely won the heart of millions.


The Comeback


Praneeth is undoubtedly a tremendous badminton player, but there comes a time, when even the best shuttlers could not perform well or face some unavoidable circumstances. However, he has always been a hardworking athlete. He relies on tact and control policy of the game, although when the pressure of winning a game is more, his tactics failed. Due to a lack of fitness and continuous injuries, Praneeth failed to live up to the expectations of his fans and his own. The injuries have halted his way to move ahead and his rank also started to drop. He lost many tournaments and confronted failure in his career.


Just like, there cannot always be a gloomy weather and the sun has to shine someday, the career of Praneeth resembles the same situation. He got big breaks in the 2016 and 2017 tournaments and he proved himself to the world.


Achievements and Awards


Praneeth became the fourth Indian to win the Singapore Open Superseries.


After conquering the Thailand Open 2017, he also received ₹ 300,000 award from Badminton Association of India.


He has been a winner in eight Men’s Singles category matches. He has won a match to clinch the title of Men’s Singles and Doubles.


He has also won dual Silver and Bronze in his career, for his immense efforts and game.


Sai Praneeth is a true definition of hard work, sheer dedication and determination. The player has proved it to the entire world. His hustle for bringing more laurels to the nation is continued and we hope him the best for his brighter career ahead.


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