Indian shutter B Sai Praneeth went down fighting to second seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in the men's singles semifinals of the New Zealand Open badminton in Auckland on Saturday. The 25-year-old Sai Praneeth was the lone Indian left in fray in the tournament after he entered the semifinals of the men's singles event on Friday.
However, his run came to an end after he succumbed to a 14-21 21-19 21-8 loss in a match that lasted over an hour.
The Indian, who was seeded third for this tournament, won the first game comfortably and was leading the second game for a while.
But Christie fought back, eventually winning two straight points when the score was tied at 19-19 to win the second game and force the match into a deciding third game.
Praneeth struggled to compete against his Indonesian rival in the third game, as Christie dominated it to enter the final.
On Friday, Praneeth hardly broke a sweat as he took just 28 minutes to quell the challenge of Sri Lanka's Niluka Karunaratne 21-7 21-9 in the quarterfinals.
In the title clash, Christie will face the winner of the other semi-final between China's Lin Dan and South Korea's Heo Kwang Hee.