I can play at a much better level, says HS Prannoy

H.S. Prannoy displayed some quality game after his recovery as he made it to a series of semi-finals at Bitburger, Syed Modi International, Macau and also reached the final at Vietnam. His maiden Grand Prix Gold win came at Indonesia in 2014.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: July 9, 2017 4:34 pm
H.S. Prannoy, Grand Prix Gold, Premier Badminton League, Swiss Open, Singapore Open HS Prannoy’s career has been injury prone ever since he clinched a silver medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics. (Source: AP)

After suffering from multiple injuries over the past few years, Indian shuttler HS Prannoy has overcome the tough phase and thinks that something big is stored for him. Prannoy’s career has been injury prone ever since he clinched a silver medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics. His training has been largely affected, as he was often left on the sidelines due to some or the other injury.

In 2011, he suffered a knee injury before the nationals, which was followed by a back injury in 2012, which took him more than half a year to recover.

Prannoy displayed some quality game after his recovery as he made it to a series of semi-finals at Bitburger, Syed Modi International, Macau and also reached the final at Vietnam. His maiden Grand Prix Gold win came at Indonesia in 2014.

He suffered another injury-marred year but still managed to reach his career best ranking of 12. He won the Swiss Open in 2016 which was followed by another toe injury at the Singapore Open. This year, Prannoy showed some remarkable form at the Premier Badminton League but his previous injuries again came to haunt him.

Asked if he is in his best form of the career now Prannoy said: “Best I am not sure, I believe I have a lot of capability and I can play at a much better level. Of course there have been restrictions on me since I had a lot of injuries. So I can’t do some specific training due to those injuries.”

Prannoy also faced criticism regarding his dip in form and following all the remarks one coach even said that, “he will never be able to play singles as he was slow and he should shift to doubles”.

“People may criticise saying that I have such a good game but I’ve not been able to be consistent. I feel they need to understand that there are so many injuries that we suffer which they don’t know about and each time to come back, train and reach top 20 is not easy,” Prannoy said in an interview to PTI.

“Sometimes, you get demotivated as to why so many injuries are happening but that is how it is, some have a lot of injuries and some have less. Look at Sameer, he too had a lot of injuries and he would have been a much better player. Injuries take away a lot of time,” he added.

Prannoy said that sometimes he self-doubt during first round of a tournament, “For me the first round is really important. I always play a bit half-heartedly in the first round and doubt myself if I will be able to control the shuttle.”

“Once I crack the first round, if I am getting into the zone and really feel good about the conditions then I feel it could be my day. After I cross the pre-quarters, I get better, so that’s how my game goes,” he added.

Prannoy said now he is really confident regarding his fitness and even when he was training ahead of the Indonesia Open. “The confidence that fitness gives is completely different. I felt that after I left Malaysia and Singapore midway and I was training and trying not to get injured. I played at the ABC in China and again was back to training. It was the only time when I was feeling my body is good and I was raring to go, but that feeling doesn’t happen all the time.

“Others don’t need to worry about injuries, they can just concentrate on things on court. But I am happy with the way things are going now. I am happy the way I come back after each injury and I might not have won a tournament but I always believe something big will happen and when things do not go my way, I am patient enough to hang in there,” he said.

On being asked about preparing for back-to-back tournaments, Prannoy said: “We don’t do anything new during the tournament. It is all about polishing what you have, you have to ensure that endurance doesn’t go down.

“We keep trying new shots so that if required you can use them. I have so many new shots in my game but I might not use them always and the thing is, you might forget if you don’t practice. So you have to keep doing it in practice.” he concluded.

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