Badminton star H.S. Prannoy returns to the court with a win | Jobi Cool

Badminton star H.S. Prannoy showed he meant business as he marked his return to the court after a month-long break by thrashing Orijit Chaliha 21-11, 21-9 to set up Kerala’s 3-1 win over Assam in the mixed team quarter-finals of the National Games here. on Saturday.

“It’s a nice feeling to be back on the court. I last played in the first week of September at the Japan Open. It was a long break for me after some good wins this year,” Prannoy said as he summed up his 26. – minute victory. “I wasn’t moving as well as I wanted, but I’m back in training. And playing a game after a long time is always difficult.”

Prannoy, who recently got married to his long-time girlfriend Swetha Thomas, said the match against Orijit Chaliha was not difficult. “But going deeper into the tournament, I will face tougher matches,” said the Indian star, who has replaced Tokyo Olympics champion Viktor Axelsen (Denmark) at the top of the latest BWF World Tour 2022 men’s singles rankings.

He leads the way with 58,090 points, having played in 13 tournaments on the BWF World Tour this year.

Prannoy has been in fine form since helping India to their maiden Thomas Cup title in May this year. His best result came when he reached the final of the Swiss Open, a BWF Super 300 event. He also made two semi-final appearances at the Malaysian Masters and the Indonesian Open.

“My focus will be on the World Tour Finals. There are quite a few tournaments before then. I hope to bring winning results in them. I have to be consistent. Of course I have to be in the top eight to make the grade. He said: “I’d like to get into a good rhythm before the World Tour Finals. I’m happy with my results over the last year and I need to be consistent.”

Although he tops the World Tour rankings, his world ranking in men’s singles is 18th. “I would have liked to be in the top 10 and top five because it would have been a better draw. I also need to work on my game to get out of the semi-finals. That’s my priority right now,” he said.

Maharashtra and Gujarat advance to the semi-finals

In other matches of the day, Maharashtra beat Delhi 3-1 and Gujarat beat Uttarakhand 3-2 to reach the semi-finals.

Maharashtra will now face leaders Telangana while the hosts will play Kerala in the gold medal clash.

It was a cause for celebration for Gujarat as they are assured of their first badminton medal at the National Games. “We are looking forward to the semi-final match against Kerala. But winning the first ever medal is a big achievement for our team,” said Gujarat team manager Monesh Mashruwala.

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