Auckland [New Zealand], May 5 (ANI): Ace Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth suffered a major blow as he crashed out of the New Zealand Open Badminton Championship after going down against second-seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia here on Saturday.
After comfortably winning the first game, Praneeth failed to capitalise on it and slumped to a 21-14, 19-21, 8-21 defeat at the hands of his Indonesian opponent in a thrilling semi-final clash of the men's singles event that lasted a little more than one hour.
Praneeth clinched the first game easily and was also leading the second game, looking likely to reach the finals of the tournament.
However, after the score was tied at 19-19 in the second game, Christie bounced back strongly and never looked back to clinch the deciding third game 21-8 and cruise into the finals.
With Praneeth's defeat, India's challenge at the tournament also folded.
Yesterday, Sameer Verma crashed out of the tournament after slumping to straight-games defeat at the hands of top-seed Lin Dan of China.
In the men's doubles event, the Indian duo of Manu Attri and B.Sumeeth Reddy had also bowed out of the tournament after suffering a 10-21, 15-21 loss against the Thailand team of Bodin Isara and Nipitphon Phuangphuapet. (ANI)