Talented Priyanshu Rajawat books semis battle against HS Prannoy - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Talented Priyanshu Rajawat books semis battle against HS Prannoy

By, New Delhi
Aug 05, 2023 08:25 AM IST

The 21-year-old was in superb form as he beat Srikanth 21-13, 21-8 in just 30 minutes

Priyanshu Rajawat had been lying low since his breakthrough win at the Orleans Masters in April. A couple of early-round exits followed by a couple of close losses saw him fail to make it to the business end of the Asian swing of tournaments.

Rajawat did not just beat Srikanth but completely destroyed the former world No.1, winning 21-13, 21-8 in exactly half-an-hour.(AFP)
Rajawat did not just beat Srikanth but completely destroyed the former world No.1, winning 21-13, 21-8 in exactly half-an-hour.(AFP)

But that didn’t mean he was playing poorly. On the contrary, he earned the praise of the world's best like No.2 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. “He’s (Rajawat) got a good defence. It is not easy to get a point from him. He could be a player to watch. Actually, he’s already there,” the Indonesian was quoted as saying about Rajawat after beating the Indian at the Indonesian Open in June.

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

It took the 21-year-old just a couple of more tournaments to rise to the occasion once again as he earned another strong result when he beat compatriot and fellow Thomas Cup champion Kidambi Srikanth at the $420,000 Australian Open on Friday.

Rajawat did not just beat Srikanth but completely destroyed the former world No.1, winning 21-13, 21-8 in exactly half-an-hour. It was the first meeting between the two and allowed the youngster to advance to the men’s singles semi-finals of the Super 500 tourney at the State Sports Centre in Sydney.

Having broken into the top 50 at the start of the year, the Pullela Gopichand protege, who is currently ranked 31, will rise higher.

Agility and speed are his two main weapons and he will need to use all his tactical nous to overcome compatriot and 'elder brother' HS Prannoy in the last four.

Perhaps in the best form of his life, world No.9 Prannoy rallied to beat top seed Ginting 16-21, 21-17, 21-14 in an hour and 13 minutes to record his third victory in five outings against the Indonesian.

“He (Rajawat) is very talented. He moves quickly, is very light (on his feet) and his shots have that punch. He is able to reach the shuttle at a very high point, which helps him create good angles. He may not look it, but Priyanshu is a very explosive player who has good, strong weapons that can continuously get you into trouble. He has good deception at the net and a good overall game," Prannoy had said in a recent interview to this daily.

Rajawat and Prannoy have ensured that there will be at least one Indian in the final as one of them will aim to become the third Indian to win the Australian Open after Saina Nehwal (2014, 2016) and Srikanth (2017).

However, it was the end of the road for former world champion PV Sindhu who lost 12-21, 17-21 in 39 minutes to American fourth seed Beiwan Zhang. It was the double Olympic medallist’s fifth loss in 11 meetings against Zhang.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    From badminton to cricket, Sandip Sikdar writes on many sporting disciplines. He has the experience of working in digital, news agency as well as print organisations. Motorsport remains his first love.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On