HS Prannoy defeats Weng Yang to claim maiden BWF World Tour title at Malaysia Masters 2023

M SudharshanM Sudharshan

May 28 2023
HS Prannoy Malaysia Masters 2023
(Courtesy : @BAI_Media/Twitter)

This is Prannoy’s first individual title since 2017.

India’s number one men’s singles shuttler, HS Prannoy defeated Weng Hong Yang in three games to clinch his maiden BWF World Tour Title at the Malaysia Masters 2023 (BWF 500). The WR 9 won his last title way back in 2017 (Grand Prix Gold in the USA) in the individual event. The journey to the title wasn’t easy with each match gruelling down close to 90 minutes. He beat the Chinese 21-19, 13-21, 21-18 to clinch the Malaysia Masters 2023 title.

Prannoy, 30, started on a positive note winning the opening game. Although Prannoy won the first game the match never looked in anyone’s favour with the slightest of mistakes determining the winner. Chinese Weng as expected came back and took the game to the decider. Both players were going neck-to-neck until the halfway stage and Prannoy from here pressed on the accelerator.

Weng, on the contrary, was in touching distance but in the end, Prannoy maximised his two match points to emerge victorious in a marathon encounter lasting 94 minutes.

The current WR 9 faced a stern challenge in the opening round against Chou Tien Chen. The Indian after losing the opening game came back strongly and closed the encounter in his favour. He faced a similar challenge in the following round and was up against All England Championships winner Li Shi Feng. Prannoy in all his matches held his nerve at crucial junctures and allowed the opponents to get at him and commit mistakes which went in his favour.

Weng’s progress to the final wasn’t easy either. He saved three match points against former world number one Kenta Momota in the opening round. Like HSP, the Chinese had to go through tougher opponents and ultimately finished second.

The Indian shuttler has been instrumental in many victories for the Indian badminton team, including the historic Thomas Cup and the 2023 Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships. Now, with the BWF World Tour Title in the men’s singles category, Prannoy will look forward to upcoming tournaments with more confidence.

“I think just too many emotions as such because the last six years were too much of a roller coaster ride for me and really didn’t expect this to happen after six years. To be honest, if you had me asked in 2017, I don’t think I would have told you that in 2023 I would be winning a Super 500. I want to thank all the coaches and the support staff. I think we have worked really, really hard and the result is showing,” Prannoy stated after the victory.

He added, “It’s too much of emotions as such and then you are excited to come out there and play in front of such a big crowd. It was a beautiful crowd out there, so you’re always excited to be there. The draw was really tough for me and had really tough matches as I had to dig really deep.

All four matches went to the wire and that shows how patient I was and my fitness was also pretty much decent. I think beating these kinds of players is not easy, you just have to dig in deep. The conditions were really slow the entire tournament and all matches were going long and you just had to hang in there and I did that.”

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HS Prannoy’s performance at Malaysia Masters 2023

R32 – beats (WR 5) Chou Tien Chen (16-21, 21-14, 21-13)

R16 – beats Li Shi Feng (13-21, 21-16, 21-11)

Quarter-finals – Kenta Nishimoto (25-23, 18-21, 21-13)

Semi-finals – Christian Adinata (19-17) *retired hurt

Final – Weng Hong Yang (21-19, 13-21, 21-18)

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