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HS Prannoy confident after big wins vs Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long this year

The year 2017 saw HS Prannoy -- who will play for Ahmedabad Smash Masters in this years Premier Badminton League (PBL), record two wins over former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and also beat reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China. He also climbed up to No 10 in the world rankings

other sports Updated: Dec 01, 2017 19:42 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Premier Badminton League,PBL,HS Prannoy
HS Prannoy, who will spearhead the challenge of Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) this season, had won the US Open Grand Prix gold tournament this year.(AFP)

It hasn’t been the easiest of journey for HS Prannoy in the world of badminton, having endured his fair share of below-par results, injuries and lack of self-belief.

The promise he showed in the early years was on the wane, it seemed. However, this year he has been able to get his act back together, and has stayed injury-free to enjoy his best year on the circuit.

The year 2017 saw Prannoy record two wins over former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and also beat reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China. He also climbed up to No 10 in the world rankings.

The back-to-back wins over Chong Wei and Long at the Indonesia Open Superseries gave the 25-year-old confidence that he belongs in the big league.

“I think couple of good wins turn the entire year around and gives you a lot of confidence,” said Prannoy on the sidelines of the launch of newest entrant to the Premier Badminton League (PBL), Ahmedabad Smash Masters, in Mumbai. “For me there were couple of good weeks in June where I played well at the Indonesia Open and then went on to win the US Open. I just carried on from there for the rest of the season.”

Prannoy’s only title win this season came at the US Open Grand Prix Gold in June and he also made it to two Superseries semifinals -- in Indonesia and France. He feel he would have to be consistent from here on and win tournaments to break into the top-five.

“You need to be more consistent. You cannot be going out in the quarterfinals and semifinals each time. It’s tough because its Superseries and you are playing against the best in the world. You are continuously playing top-five players. But I’m happy in the way I have improved in terms of consistency but I think lot of work still has to be done in that department,” said Prannoy, who was the most impressive Indian shuttler in the last edition of the PBL where he represented the Mumbai Rockets.

Prakash Padukone said recently that top Indian players should cut down on tournaments and not focus on rankings to stay fit, but Prannoy feels it’s like a catch-22 situation.

“That’s true I think but the problem is there are lot of thing that rely on rankings. Say if you need a good draw in a major tournament you need to be in the top-eight but if you are down the rankings your will run into the top seeds. If you have the luxury of being in the top-eight you can skip tournaments and focus on training and stay fresh for bigger events because it needs lot of energy. We really need to think about the schedule and then plan out,” said Prannoy.

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 19:31 IST