Seasoned Indian shuttler HS Prannoy has not looked back since his quarter-final finish in the World Championships 2021, where he overcame Danish ace Viktor Axelsen. His fine run continued in the 2024 Paris Olympics cycle as he bagged quarter-final finishes in India Open, Syed Modi International, German Open, Malaysia Open, Singapore Open, and the World Championships 2022. His consistency, however, truly paid off in 2023 after enduring a gastroesophageal reflux disease and contracting Covid-19 in 2023.
HS Prannoy bags his first individual title in six years
Prannoy took home a prize cheque of $420,000 after his men’s singles win at the Malaysia Masters 2023 in May. He took the spot of the champion after overcoming Chinese counterpart Weng Hong Yang in the hard-fought three-game thriller that lasted for 94 minutes. This was his first BWF World Tour title and the first individual title after the 2017 US Open win over his Indian compatriot Kashyap Parupalli.
Incidentally, he was the 10th different shuttler in as many BWF World Tour events in 2023 to clinch the title. The triumph helped the New Delhi-shuttler rise to the No.8 spot in the World Rankings. This spot can earn him a direct entry in the men’s individual category of the 2024 Paris Olympics. His journey to the top 10 was fuelled by a lot of shifts in his game, a better diet plan, and training.
There is a chance to improve his ranking further and hit a purple patch in the ongoing year for Prannoy. He received a bye in the Round of 32 against Japanese shuttler Kodai Narakora in the Singapore Open. His next opponent is still undecided, but the Indian ace has a chance of bagging $59,500 and 11,000 points if he wins the tournament.
The tournament has a total purse of $850,000. Prannoy will bag $2,550 if he finishes in R16, $4,675 if he enters the quarter-finals, $11,900 as a semi-finalist, and $28,900 as the finalist. He is unseeded in the tournament with Kidambi Srikanth and Priyanshu Rajawat, among the other Indian shuttlers participating in the men’s singles category.
His next assignment will be at the Indonesia Open 2023, slated to get underway on June 13, and the Taipei Open on June 20. The total prize purse for the Indonesia Open is US$1,250,000, with 12,000 points at stake. Meanwhile, the Taipei Open has a prize purse of $210,000 and has 7000 points on offer.
Prannoy will look to make the most of 2023 in every tournament as a dress rehearsal for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.