Prannoy: I've a point to prove, I can be in top 5

Indian male shuttler H S Prannoy believes he can still break into the world's top 5 and said he is looking to add new dimensions to his game to achieve his target this year.

H.S. Prannoy in action in the opening round of the India Open 2022.   -  Special Arrangement

Indian male shuttler H. S. Prannoy believes he can still break into the world's top 5 and said he is looking to add new dimensions to his game to achieve his target this year.

A former world no 8, Prannoy's performance suffered after he was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (a digestive ailment in which stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipe lining) during the 2018 World Championships.

Once he somewhat recovered from it, the Indian was hit by coronavirus in November 2020 and ever since, he has been battling the after-affects of the infection, which continued to disturb his game and soon his ranking plummeted to world no 26.

"There was a time when I was not physically alright, and that was the main issue for performance not happening on the court," Prannoy said after winning his opening match at the season-opening India Open here on Wednesday.

"Definitely there is a point to prove that I am not done yet, and I am a player who can be in the top 5 of the world, I trust my instinct, and hopefully in the next few months we will have something good." Prannoy, 29, made a creditable quarterfinal finish at the World Championships last month and said he is looking to work further on his game ahead of the busy schedule.

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"There was a slight disappointment, but then I am extremely happy how I played in Worlds, there was lot of positive which I could come back and train with a positive mindset...so yeah things are looking up.

"I am looking forward to the training time where there are many new things I want to add on to my game." India Open kickstarted another hectic year which will comprise the big-ticket events such as Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, besides the regular BWF World Tour events.

Prannoy, who was part of the mixed gold-medal-winning Indian team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, said it will be tough to make it to the national team this time around.

"It is a very long year, we have some big tournaments this year. There is tough competition for all of us who are part of the Indian team. There has been a lot of good performances, and it will be definitely tough to qualify for Asian Games and Commonwealth Games," he said.

"But apart from that, there are many other tournaments which I am looking forward to. My goals are very short-termed, not looking at 6-7 months. I am focussing on a couple of months max, my aim is to prepare better each day and not look at the result but get the process right and get better each day."

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