TUC 2024: HS Prannoy finds winning form as India gear up for quarters after going down to Indonesia in last group game

HS PrannoyNew Delhi: India’s top ranked singles player HS Prannoy hit the strides and showed that he was now ready for the big battles after overcoming health concerns with a come from behind win over Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting as the defending champions finished second in Group C at the BWF Thomas and Uber Cup 2024 in Chengdu, China, on Wednesday.

With the quarterfinal spot already assured, Indians took on multiple-time champions Indonesia in the last group clash, looking to find the right balance ahead of the knock-out stage.

Indian women’s team has also reached the quarterfinals and will face Japan on Thursday morning. The knock out draw for the men’s team was not made at the time of writing.

Though the Indian men’s team ended up on the losing end of the 1-4 score line, their were many positives. Prannoy fought back after a game down, the doubles combination of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty forced a decider after saving eight match points and Kidambi Srikanth was just a point away from victory in the third singles but could not convert the opportunity.

Things looked quite difficult for Prannoy as he struggled in the opening game against the quick-footed Ginting. But the world no 9, who enjoyed a 3-2 head-to-head record against the Indonesian before this match, found his rhythm in time to register a 13-21, 21-12, 21-12 win in just over an hour.

“I knew that Ginting was going to be quick in the opening game. But I knew that if I stuck with him in the second game till 13-all, 14-all then I had a chance,” said Prannoy after the match adding that he is always confident when match goes into the decider.

The first doubles was another close encounter with Satwik and Chirag saving two game points in the first game and then saving eight match points in the second against Muhammad Fikri and Bagas Maulana but could not avoid a 24-22, 22-24, 21-19 loss.

Lakshya Sen then pushed reigning All England champion Jonatan Christie to the decider but the Indonesian used all his experience to carve out a /1-18, 16-21, 21-17 win to give his team a 2-1 lead.

India then paired Dhruv Kapila with Sai Pratheek K in the second doubles instead of MR Arjun and the scratch pair raised hopes of an upset when they earned a game point against world no 13 combination of Leo Carnando and Daniel Marthin. But the Indonesians raised their game in the second to win the match 22-20, 21-11 to wrap up the tie.

In the third singles, Kidambi Srikanth could not convert two match points and lost 21-19, 22-24, 14-21.

Result: India lost to Indonesia 1-4 (HS Prannoy bt Anthony Ginting 13-21, 21-12, 21-12; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty lost to Muhammad Fikri/Bagas Maulana 22-24, 24-22, 17-21; Lakshya Sen lost to Jonatan Christie 18-21, 21-16, 17-21; Dhruv Kapila/Sai Pratheek K lost to Leo Carnando/Daniel Marthin 20-22, 11-21; Kidambi Srikanth lost to Chico Dwi Wardoyo 21-19, 22-24, 14-21)