Millennium Post

Unseeded Prannoy stuns Hidayat in straight sets

India’s H S Prannoy caused the biggest upset of the Yonex Sunrise India Open Super Series, beating former world No. 1 Taufik Hidayat in straight sets to enter the third round of the men’s singles event here.

The day belonged to Prannoy who surprisingly dominated proceedings, to beat his more fancied opponent 26-24 21-9 in 40 minutes.

It was not an ideal start for Prannoy as he was lagging behind in the opening game and was always playing catch-up.

But the unseeded Indian managed to make it 16-16 and from there on it was a hard-fought battle against the experienced Indonesian. It went on till 23-23 before the India won two points to seal the first game in his favour. In the second game, the Indian never allowed Taufik to come close to him. Prannoy opened up a 10-3 lead and thereafter continued to move ahead. It was an easy job in the end.

Elated after registering a victory over his idol Taufik Hidayat, H S Prannoy today said beating the former World No. 1 in the India Open is like a dream come true.’I wasn’t actually thinking of beating him (Hidayat). I was just happy to have been playing against him. I have followed his game since my childhood.  I am very happy at the moment as it’s dream come true,’ a visibly satisfied Prannoy told reporters after beating the 2004 Athens Olympic gold medallist. The 20-year-old Prannoy said that he took his chances against the Indonesian as he was aware of fact that Hidayat wasn’t fully fit.

‘I also took advantage of him not being physically that fit. After Parupalli Kashyap’s match yesterday, I was told about his game and I was prepared to counter his strokes. I knew he would hit cross court smashes but I was prepared,’ said Prannoy.

‘I knew how he plays because I have been watching his videos since childhood. His net-play is pretty strong. I was aware about his strengths and weaknesses but he was unaware about my game,’ Prannoy said. He also added that he always wanted to win the first game against Hidayat.

‘If I gave him the first game, then it would have been difficult for me. What these big players, who are not fully fit, generally do is, win the first game, leave the next and then revive.’
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