Prannoy finally reaches the summit after years of ups and downs

Hard-fought win: India’s H.S. Prannoy returning a shot to China’s Weng Hongyang in the men’s singles final.

THERE was finally joy for H.S. Prannoy after he ended his long wait for a World Tour title at the age of 30.

The Indian men’s singles shuttler fought hard to overcome China’s Weng Hongyang 21-19, 13-21, 21-18 in the Malaysian Masters final at the Axiata Arena yesterday.

World No. 9 Prannoy became the first Indian to capture the men’s singles title in the tournament.

“I can’t believe that I’ve won my first title,” said Prannoy.

“The past seven years have been full of ups and downs for me.

“I was always reaching the quarter-finals and semi-finals but I’ve never been able to cross the finish line.

“But I’ve always trusted the process and my results improved last year, and I regained my confidence.

“I had to really dig deep to win this match and I feel so happy that I did it.”

Prannoy had come close to ending his title drought in the Swiss Open last year but was denied in the final by Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie.

Meanwhile, Japan’s world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi defeated Indonesia’s world No. 9 Gregoria Mariska 21-17, 21-7 to win the women’s singles title.

It was reigning world champion Yamaguchi’s second title in Malaysia this year after her Malaysian Open win in January.

“Malaysia is becoming a lucky place for me as this is my second title here this year,” said Yamaguchi.

“The fans here have always given me a lot of support.

“Moving forward, it’s important for me to keep playing with confidence.”

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