Malaysia Masters: Prannoy wins first BWF World Tour title | Sports News

KUALA LUMPUR: India’s star shuttler HS Prannoy won his third straight victory over China’s Wen Hong Yan in a heated men’s singles final at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 tournament here on Sunday, ending a six-year title drought. Ta.

The 30-year-old Indian showed great composure and determination in a 94-minute battle to secure a 21-19, 13-21, 21-18 victory over 2022 Asian Championships bronze medalist and world No. 34 Wen Hong Yang of China. I got it. .

With this victory, he clinched his first BWF World Tour title and India’s first singles crown of the year.

Prannoy was instrumental in India’s epic Thomas Cup victory last year, but hasn’t won an individual title since winning Grand Prix gold at the 2017 US Open.

The Kerala shuttler reached the final of the Swiss Open last year and almost broke his title drought when he won the Malaysia and Indonesia Super 1000 in the semi-final stage.

Prannoy has battled a series of injuries and health issues before turning his career around at the end of 2021.

For the past two years, he has been the most consistent Indian player on the circuit, but he still couldn’t put it all together in one week to win a big title at a BWF World Tour event.

Prannoy celebrates the victory.Photo: AFP/Arif Kartono

On Sunday, all his hard work paid off as world No. 9 Prannoy finally broke the jinx and delivered his best performance in a war of attrition against the 23-year-old from China.

Prannoy put his physical and mental fortitude on full display this week, defeating opponents including world No. 5 Chou Tien-chen, British champion Li Shi-feng and Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in three matches. I defeated it.

Prannoy’s plan was simple. He continues to attack consistently, collects everything and waits for the opponent’s mistakes.

The Indian used angular returns to create chances, and his economical court mobility allowed him to keep pace with his speedy left-handed opponents.

From 1 win, 3 losses, he rushed forward and took the shuttle away from Wen, achieving an even record of 5 wins and 5 losses.

China took the lead, but two wide shots made it 7-7. At times, Prannoy would end rallies with erroneous shots near the net, allowing his younger rival to take the lead.

A precise smash down the line put the Indians up 10-10 before Wen found the back of the net.

Prannoy continued with his conservative approach as the rally dragged on. Soon this combination made him 16-16. Prannoy missed a few shots on net, but his relentless attack earned him a few points on his way to two game points.

He was found guilty and punished for issuing a return mid-court. Wen then sent a backhand into the net, giving Prannoy bragging rights.

After changing sides, Wen took a 4-0 lead after Prannoy made a flashy return near the net and made two long hits. Following a big smash with a backhand snap, Prannoy extended his lead to 5-4 with a spectacular backhand block.

In a close game, the two tried tighter shots and Wen managed to grab an 11-9 cushion at the interval.

Prannoy then made a misplaced patch that hit the net and then went off the line, and suddenly Wen was ahead at 16-10.

A huge look of frustration was etched on the Indian’s face as errors continued to roll off his racket. Immediately, Wen scored seven game points with a cross-court return and converted with an accurate return on the backline to create a decisive chance.

In the third game, Wen maintained his momentum even as Prannoy found his footing at 6-8. A net kill brought India level at 8-8 and Wen ended an exciting rally with a smash.

Another great rally ended with Prannoy again putting his opponents at the mercy of his best shot at the net as they went into the mid-interval with just a one-point lead.

After the restart, Prannoy hit a crosscourt smash to extend the lead to 14-11. Wen delivered precise smashes, hitting her rival twice to the body, closing the fight to 13-14.

Prannoy roared with a cross-court smash to extend the lead to 16-13.

However, Prannoy, looking for precision, missed his line several times and his long shots helped Wen to make it 18-18.

Prannoy kept his nerve and responded with a smash, leaving Wen on the floor. Another magical smash with a slight kiss on the line gave Prannoy two championship points and he scored it after his opponent hit wide.

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