India’s campaign at the Thailand Masters 2023 badminton tournament on Friday came to an end after B Sai Praneeth lost to Youth Olympic Games champion Li Shi Feng of China in the mens singles quarter-finals, here.
The 30-year-old Indian made a decent start to the match but lost his momentum to lose 17-21, 23-21, 18-21 in one hour and 23 minutes. Apart from Praneeth, no other Indian badminton player had reached the quarter-finals of the BWF Super 300 tournament.
World No 49 Praneeth, who has not been in the semi-finals of a BWF World Tour event since winning the bronze medal at the BWF world championships in 2019, led Li Shi Feng 15-10 in the first game. But, he lost 11 of the next 13 points to trail 1-0 in the match.
Li Shi Feng, seeded sixth and world No. 23, led Praneeth by two points at the second break. The Chinese shuttler then pressed his advantage to take a 19-15 lead over the Indian badminton player.
Praneeth, a former world No. 10, however, upped his game and stunned Li Shi Feng to take the match into the decider.
Both Praneeth and Feng engaged in close rallies in the third game. With scores tied at 12-12, Li Shi Feng shifted gears to take the next six points and eventually won the contest to move into the semi-finals.
The two shuttlers had earlier met at Malaysia Masters last year with Li Shi Feng winning in straight games.