Indian badminton star H. S. Prannoy is prioritising his endurance to cope with slower court conditions in Tokyo, which will host the BWF World Championships in a week’s time.
“I had a decent two weeks of training. There was nothing different. But courts in Japan tend to be on the slower side, so the focus was more on endurance,” Prannoy, who will open his campaign against Austria’s Luka Wraber, told PTI.
“During the Olympics, the conditions were faster, but mostly, it is on the slower side. Also, there is the Japan Open next, so I think endurance will be important.” said the 30-year-old, who had reached the quarterfinals at the last edition of World Championships in Spain.
The former world number 8 had recently broken into the top 20 after consistent finishes in the international circuit.
“It has been tough. The ranking was not unfrozen, and moving even one ranking point up was tough. At the start of the year, I was ranked 29th or 30th. From there on, consistent performance helped me slowly get into the top 20.”
In 2018, Prannoy was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Once he recovered, he was struck by COVID-19 in November 2020, the effects of which impacted his performance.
But Prannoy has recovered from these setbacks and has reinvented his game with a calmer approach on the court.
This year, he has reached the Indonesia Open and Malaysia Masters semifinals, and finals at the Swiss Open Super 300. His role in India’s maiden win at Thomas Cup earlier this year was the icing on the cake.
However, Prannoy’s last individual title came in 2017 at the US Open Grand Prix Gold.
“For me, the happiness to win each point and round are important. I need to enjoy the process,” he said.
“There are going to be few days when you won’t be good, you are human after all, and you may get tired of all the journey, so sometimes a loss is okay. If you are giving your best and keep knocking on the door, someday it might open and hopefully soon...”
- WITH INPUTS FROM PTI