Insights that Echo Beyond the Echo Chamber


Indian Open badminton | Prannoy battles to maiden semifinals

H. S. Prannoy in action against Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei (TPE), during their men’s singles quarterfinal badminton match at the Indian Open 2024 badminton championship in New Delhi on January 19, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Backed by a vociferous crowd, H. S. Prannoy navigated past a testing phase in the decider against a speedy Wang Tzu Wei for a place in his maiden quarterfinals of the India Open badminton in New Delhi on January 19.

In a tense third game, Prannoy bridged a 5-10 deficit to catch up at 14, surged ahead at 17-16 and converted a second match-point for a 21-17, 17-21, 21-19 triumph over the Chinese Taipei rival in 77 minutes.

The eighth seed now faces Chinese sixth seed Shi Yuqi in Saturday’s semifinals. A match that witnessed frequent exchanges of dribble, and flicks at the nets brought forth the shot-making skills of Prannoy to the fore.

He settled into a fine rhythm and enlarged a 10-3 lead to 18-5 before handing out Wang six straight confidence-boosting points. Though Prannoy sealed the opening game quickly thereafter, Wang suddenly seemed to have sorted a few of his problems.

In the second game, Wang controlled the pace better, executed some very powerful smashes on both flanks and jumped to 13-6 after claiming six straight points. Undeterred, Prannoy clawed back to win seven of the next eight points, closed the gap to 16-17 but lost four of the last five points to stare at the decider.

“Against I rival like Wang, who is so quick and sharp with his shots on the body, one has to give him 5-6 such points without feeling bad about it,”said Prannoy and continued, “after he established that big lead in the decider and I made it 9-10 and 14-all, I knew the crowd would play their part. I expected a tough match and I’m happy to come through.”

The results (quarterfinals, prefix denotes seeding):

Men singles: 8-H. S. Prannoy bt Wang Tzu Wei (Tpe) 21-11, 17-21,21-18; 6-Shi Yuqi Chn) bt Koki Watanabe (Jpn) 23-21, 21-13; Lee Chuek Yiu (HKG) bt Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (Ina) 21-17,18-21,21-13; 2-Kodai Naraoka (Jpn) bt Lee Zii Jia (Mal) 13-21, 21-9, 21-16.

Men doubles: 4-Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (Mal) bt 8-Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi (Chn) 21-19, 21-19; 3-Kang-Min-Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae (Kor) bt 6-Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Ina) 21-14, 21-18 ; 7-Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn) bt Supak Jomkoh/Kittinupong Kedren (Tha) 21-8, 21-10.

Women singles: Yeo Jia Min (Sin) bt 1-An Se Young (Kor) 21-19, 3-0 (retd.); 4-Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe) bt He Bingjiao (Chn) 21-12, 21-12; Wang Zhi Yi (Chn) bt Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) 22-20, 21-8; 2-Chen Yufie (Chn) bt Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) 21-9, 21-13.


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