Fri, 22 Sep 2023

Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], May 28 (ANI): India's star shuttler HS Prannoy finally clinched his first-ever BWF World Tour title with a hard-fought three-game triumph over China's Weng Hongyang on Sunday in the final of the men's singles event at the Malaysia Masters 2023 on Sunday.

Prannoy ranked No. 9 in the BWF rankings defeated Weng Hong Yang of China 21-19, 13-21, 21-18 to win his maiden BWF World Tour title. It was also the 30-year-old Prannoy's first men's singles crown in over six years. His last title came at the 2017 US Open, which, at the time, was part of the BWF Grand Prix - the predecessor to the BWF World Tour.

Playing at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Prannoy and Weng Hongyang went toe-to-toe early on in the first game. As the game advanced, both Hongyang and Prannoy battled to gain the upper hand against their opponent. With the scores tied at 16-16, the Indian ace raised his performance and took the lead in the match.

Prannoy, however, failed to carry the momentum in the second game as Hongyang rallied to take an 11-9 lead into the midway break. On return, the Chinese shuttler won six consecutive points and built on it to win the second game and forced a decider.

In the topsy-turvy decider game, the Indian ace got off to a slow start as he trailed 2-5 early on but made a perfect comeback to tie the score at 9-9. It was a race to the finish line from thereon.

With the score reading 18-all, the Indian badminton player dug deep and closed out the match with three back-to-back points to win the BWF Super 500 event. The match lasted for 93 minutes.

Prannoy had made it to the final after Indonesia's Christian Adinata withdrew with an injury in the semi-finals.

Earlier, Prannoy defeated Madrid Spain Master 2023 winner Kenta Nishimoto and reigning All-England champion Li Shi Feng in the quarter-finals and pre-quarterfinals, respectively. (ANI)

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