Prannoy wins Swiss Open GP

Prannoy saw off higher ranked Marc Zwiebler of Germany 21-18 21-15 in the final in Basel to clinch the 2016 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold tournament.

H. S. Prannoy promised to try his best to qualify for the Rio Games later this year. (File Photo)   -  PTI

Elated after clinching the Swiss Open title, shuttler H. S. Prannoy today said the victory has renewed his hope for the Olympics and he would look to come up with some good performances in next few tournaments to make a last-ditch effort to qualify for the Rio Games.

Prannoy today saw off higher ranked Marc Zwiebler of Germany 21-18 21-15 in the final in Basel to clinch the 2016 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold tournament.

“I am extremely happy to win this title. This should take me to the 20th spot in world ranking and I would like to give Olympics qualification one more effort by playing well in the following tournaments before the May deadline,” Prannoy said.

“It won’t be easy because I hardly have any time to rest or practice. In a week, I will be playing at the Indian Open Super Series and then I will play the Malaysia Super Series instead of the Senior Nationals as I want to give myself maximum chance to qualify for Rio.

“It will be physically tough but good thing is my confidence is up after this win. I am not thinking much about these tournaments though, I just want to concentrate on the first match and then the next. Hope God helps me,” added the 23-year-old, who won the Indonesia Masters Grand Prix Gold in 2014.

COMING BACK FROM A TOE INJURY

The last one year has not been great for the Indian as he slipped from World No. 12 in June 2015 to World No. 27 this week. The strapping youngster had come up with some spectacular performances like defeating Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen at the Indian Open and Singapore Open.

But an unfortunate toe injury kept Prannoy out of action till August last. He struggled to find his groove after coming back from injury.

“Last year was tough for me as after my injury I could not play the way I wanted. I had beaten Lin Dan at the French Open but I could not continue my form and my performances were on and off. I was not playing badly, I mean I lost in three games or closely like 18-9 but something was lacking,” Prannoy said.

“I wanted some win to boost my confidence, especially after the All England first round loss, I was frustrated and really wanted to do well,” he added.

'A TOUGH FINAL'

Talking about the final today, Prannoy said: “It was not as easy as the score might suggest. We played long rallies and it was tough to sustain the level. The first game was tough but I trusted myself. I knew the conditions will be slower today. He is someone who keeps hitting back so I was prepared to play the rallies but I was getting tired. But then when I saw that he was getting more tired, I knew I had a chance.

“The first two rounds were really tough I think because my confidence was also low after All England but I somehow pulled through and the win against Rajiv (Ouseph) was very satisfying. I felt I played my best that day. The quarterfinal was very late in the night but I am happy I could focus on my game,” he said.