Our batch has been really good, we respect each other: HS Prannoy
Seasoned badminton player HS Prannoy says there was a lot of camaraderie within the Indian camp at the recent World Championships.
Seasoned shuttler HS Prannoy has had a rough ride over the last two years but he displayed a remarkable performance at the World Championships 2021 to reach the quarter-finals. The 29-year-old said one of the things that helped him last month was having the positive energy of the Indian contingent around him while training.
"The urge to train everyday is very important and for that the friendship between the Indian players helps. Our batch has been really good, we respect each other. Nobody has grudges against anyone. As players, we are able to keep the friendship intact and switch on court and off court really well. I'm one guy who just keeps having conversations with everyone," Prannoy told The Bridge.
Prannoy said he stunned double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu with a trick shot during one of their sparring sessions.
"PV Sindhu is one player who puts her 100 percent whenever she's on the court. She always loves training and never cribs about it much. And whenever we play, it's important to make interesting and energetic decisions," Prannoy said.
Beating Viktor Axelsen gave a lot of confidence: Prannoy
The World Championships quarterfinal would have seemed a step too far for Prannoy, given the obstacles he has faced in recent years.
He was diagnosed with a gastroesophageal reflux disease (a digestive ailment in which stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipe lining) and things became worse for him after contracting Covid-19 in November 2020.
However, Prannoy thinks that he could have done better at the World Championships if the draw was easier. He failed to overcome eventual men's singles gold medallist Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in the quarter-finals.
"Last few months were not bad, it was decent. Wanted to play a few tournaments where I could go deep till the quarter-finals. I would have loved to play at least one semi-final but then that's how things are sometimes," he said.
"You might get tough draws at times but I think it was promising to have a couple of good victories under the belt, especially starting from Indonesia Masters, beating Viktor (Axelsen) gave a lot of confidence. It wasn't easy at World Championships, I had to play longer matches and reaching till the quarters was a big achievement, considering the circumstances. But I would have loved to come back with a medal," he added.
The World No. 26, meanwhile, continues to master the challenge of handling slow shuttlecocks which were largely used during the tournaments in Indonesia.
"Indonesia Masters had a very slow shuttle when compared to the rest of the events. But the World Championships was not really slow, I felt it was on a really comfortable side," Prannoy said.
"I think out of 10 tournaments, seven of them, these days, we are getting slow shuttles."
The new year will continue to be important for Prannoy as he gears up for the next challenge at the India Open 2022, which will run from January 11 to 16.