On Saturday, August 5, leading shuttler from India, HS Prannoy, qualified for the Australian Open Super 500 2023 championship match. In two games of 21-18 and 21-12, he defeated Indian teenager Priyanshu Rajawat to get to his second final of the year.
The 31-year-old badminton prodigy from Delhi hasn’t made it past the semifinals in any of his last five competitions. Even after playing in the Malaysia Open final in May 2023, he was unable to go past the third round in the Japan Open and Korea Open last month.
Nevertheless, after eliminating top seed and world number two Anthony Ginting in the quarterfinals, he was predicted to go to the final. Rajawat put up a valiant battle, but Prannoy won the first set by a score of 21–18 and then controlled the second set by a score of 21–12.
He commented after the game that beating the top ten players is fulfilling and that he is enjoying his run over the previous two years.
“It is very satisfying (to win) because it is always tough to play continuously against the top 10 players and beat them and if you look at the men’s singles section, somebody from the 30s and 40s are also very tough these days. Last two years have been good for me, I have been consistently able to pull off matches and this year has been special and I hope I can do something similar to what I did in Malaysia. Weng is very tricky, he can play big matches. In the last six months, he has gone out there and beaten a lot of big names. So it is not easy and especially being a left-hander, he has a lot of advantage over a lot of players. But final is a final and I will go all out tomorrow” – HS Prannoy
On Sunday, Prannoy, who is rated ninth, will compete against Weng Hong Yang of China. It’s interesting to note that the Indian star defeated Weng in the Malaysia Open 2023 final in May and will start Sunday’s match as the favourites.
Featured Image: Outlook India