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Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth stuns three-time winner Lee Chong Wei in 1st round at All England

The Malaysian second seed was beaten 24-22, 22-20, which ended a promising few months where he had won his last four events.

Reuters

Updated:March 10, 2016, 3:40 PM IST
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Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth stuns three-time winner Lee Chong Wei in 1st round at All England
Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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Three-time champion Lee Chong Wei was sensationally beaten by India's B Sai Praneeth in the first round of the All-England Championships on Wednesday, putting a firm dent into his preparations ahead of the Rio Olympics .

The Malaysian second seed was beaten 24-22, 22-20, which ended a promising few months where he had won his last four events.

"I can't believe I lost in the first round," Lee told reporters. "I had pressure to win but I made mistakes and I'm shocked at how well he played.

"This is a real learning curve for me."

Lee, the former world number one, was playing his first All-England since 2014 following his eight-month drug suspension ended last year.

Praneeth, however, clawed his way back from 11-3 and 15-7 deficits in the first game to take control of the match and hailed the win as his best result.

"It is a big shock for me too and after the last rally I cannot believe that I won," said Praneeth, who set up a last 16 clash with Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.

"I do not know how I turned it around. I think he was under pressure as it was a close match and that was a big advantage for me. Of course it is my greatest victory of all time."

He will next take on Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, ranked 26th in the world. The Indian had retired midway in their only meeting in 2013 French Open.

Besides, ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma too entered the second round of the USD 550,000 tournament at the Barclaycard Arena here.

World No. 2 Saina, who is making a comeback after a long injury lay-off, dispatched Commonwealth Games champion Michelle Li of Canada 21-17, 21-12

to set up a clash with Thailand's Busanan Ongbumrungphan.

World No. 10 Srikanth too showed the door to England's Rajiv Ouseph, a silver medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, 21-17, 21-12. The Guntur lad will meet Japan's Kento Momota, seeded fourth, here.

Young Sameer also dished out a superb performance as he dismantled Hong Kong's Hu Yun 21-10 21-14 in another men's singles match and will meet Chinese eight seed Tian Houwei next.

For two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, P V Sindhu, it turned out to be yet another disappointing tournament as she lost 21-18, 17-21, 12-21 to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand.

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