Young Indian shuttler H S Prannoy clinched the maiden title of his career after winning the USD 1,25,000 Indonesian Masters Grand Prix Gold, following his straight-game victory over local favourite Firman Abdul Kholik in the finals.
In a 43-minute battle, fifth seed Prannoy, who finished runners-up at the USD 50,000 Vietnam Grand Prix in Hochiminh City last week, got the better of qualifier Firman 21-11 22-20 in the men’s singles competition.
The 22-year-old Prannoy dished out a dominating performance in the opening game as he opened up a 6-2 lead early on and then kept increasing the distance. He then reeling off five straight points to take a lead 1-0 at the GOR Jakabaring stadium.
Firman regrouped himself in the second game and moved 5-3 up but Prannoy fought back at 6-6 and grabbed a slender 9-7 lead. The Indonesian once again surged ahead to 12-9 and thereafter it was a gruelling battle, but Prannoy managed to earned a four match point.
However, Firman clawed back with four straight points to draw level at 20-20. Prannoy then dug deep to reel off the next two points to seal the door on his opponent and celebrate his first title victory.
Prannoy won a silver medal in Boys’ singles at 2010 Summer Youth Olympics.
An elated Prannoy said keeping an uncluttered mind helped him finish on top.
“I am really happy with the win. I never thought could win a Grand Prix gold title. I was really upset after losing in Vietnam. But I thought I will take one match at a time here and it started working,” he told PTI.
“My body was tired but I pushed myself each day and was confident of beating him but nervous too,” he added.
Prannoy said he ensured a tough semifinal match.
“I knew if I stick to basics and not think about winning, it will pay off. The semifinal was a tough one but I played smartly,” he said.
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