Hyderabad: After playing two back-to-back series and travelling for 24-hours, H.S. Prannoy is exhausted but has not stopped smiling. His maiden title, the Indonesia Open Grand Prix gold, has lifted his spirits. “I am delighted to have won the Indonesian Open. I was disappointed after finishing runner-up at the Vietnam Open that preceded the Indonesian one. I so badly wanted to win this one... my joy knows no bounds,” Prannoy said.
The Vietnam Open concluded on September 7 and Prannoy was back fighting for a medal on the international circuit on September 9 at Indonesia. “My body had given up. I was drained out physically. But my mind never gave up. It told me to fight,” he said.
Explaining his conquest, Prannoy said: “The first couple of matches were tough. In the second, I had to come from behind to win. I was trailing 6-11 in the third game. But I kept telling myself to hang in there and fight. I eventually won that match. The rest of the tournament was a cake-walk,” the 22-year-old player added.
Prannoy who has been training at the Gopichand Academy for four years, shares a great rapport with the seniors and looks to learn from them at every given opportunity. “Kashyap, Saina (Nehwal) and Guru (Saidutt) have always been very helpful. They are always there to guide me. When I get struck during my training or whenever I have any doubts they are more than happy to help,” he said.
And then there is coach Gopichand, who is a huge source of inspiration. “I don’t talk to Gopi sir during the tournament. I speak to him before the tourney and that’s enough for me to keep myself motivated throughout the event,” Prannoy said.
With the Indonesian done, Prannoy is looking towards Europe. “My next target is the French Open followed by the Bitburger Open in Germany coming up in October. I am currently ranked 43 in the world and cannot rest after winning one event,” the Keralite said.Indeed, it’s back to the court for Prannoy, who will take it easy for just two days before smashing shuttles again....