Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], May 28 (ANI): Indian shuttler Prannoy HS expressed happiness after his Malaysia Masters men's singles title win, which was his first Badminton World Federation (BWF) Tour title win, saying that he did not expect this win to happen six years and thanked his coaches and support staff for their support.
India's star shuttler HS Prannoy finally clinched his first-ever BWF World Tour title with a hard-fought three-game triumph over China's Weng Hongyang on Sunday in the final of the men's singles event at the Malaysia Masters 2023 on Sunday.
The Indian shuttler has been instrumental in many victories for the Indian badminton team, including the historic Thomas Cup and the 2023 Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships. Now, with the BWF World Tour Title in the men's singles category, Prannoy will look forward to upcoming tournaments with more confidence.
"I think just too many emotions as such because the last six years were too much of a roller coaster ride for me and really did not expect this to happen after six years. To be honest, if you had me asked in 2017, I do not think I would have told you that in 2023 I would be winning a Super 500. I want to thank all the coaches and the support staff. I think we have worked really, really hard and the result is showing," Prannoy stated after the victory as quoted by a press release from the Badminton Association of India (BAI).
He added, "It is too much of emotions as such and then you are excited to come out there and play in front of such a big crowd. It was a beautiful crowd out there, so you are always excited to be there. The draw was really tough for me and had really tough matches as I had to dig really deep. All four matches went to the wire and that shows how patient I was and my fitness was also pretty much decent. I think beating these kinds of players is not easy, you just have to dig in deep. The conditions were really slow the entire tournament and all matches were going long and you just had to hang in there and I did that."Prannoy ranked No. 9 in the BWF rankings defeated Weng Hong Yang of China 21-19, 13-21, 21-18 to win his maiden BWF World Tour title. It was also the 30-year-old Prannoy's first men's singles crown in over six years. His last title came at the 2017 US Open, which, at the time, was part of the BWF Grand Prix - the predecessor to the BWF World Tour.
Playing at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Prannoy and Weng Hongyang went toe-to-toe early on in the first game. As the game advanced, both Hongyang and Prannoy battled to gain the upper hand against their opponent. With the scores tied at 16-16, the Indian ace raised his performance and took the lead in the match.
Prannoy, however, failed to carry the momentum in the second game as Hongyang rallied to take an 11-9 lead into the midway break. On return, the Chinese shuttler won six consecutive points and built on it to win the second game and forced a decider.
In the topsy-turvy decider game, the Indian ace got off to a slow start as he trailed 2-5 early on but made a perfect comeback to tie the score at 9-9. It was a race to the finish line from thereon.
With the score reading 18-all, the Indian badminton player dug deep and closed out the match with three back-to-back points to win the BWF Super 500 event. The match lasted for 93 minutes.
Prannoy had made it to the final after Indonesia's Christian Adinata withdrew with an injury in the semi-finals.
Earlier, Prannoy defeated Madrid Spain Master 2023 winner Kenta Nishimoto and reigning All-England champion Li Shi Feng in the quarter-finals and pre-quarterfinals, respectively. (ANI)