Prannoy motivated by World Tour No. 1 rank

India's H.S. Prannoy (right) said his latest feat of reaching No. 1 in badminton's World Tour Rankings was big news and gave him a lot of motivation ahead of the Dec 14-18 World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, China.

"Being No. 1 on the BWF Tour in September itself makes you feel better for sure," the 30-year-old told The Hindu.

"Yes, this is not the World No. 1 ranking for sure. A lot of things are bound to change on that front once the 2019 rankings, which were frozen, open up.

"The next couple of months are equally important as these things might go up or down. I am determined to be as consistent as possible."

Importantly, Prannoy, who has been impressive on the circuit with his giant-slaying form, has overtaken world champion Viktor Axelsen.

He took out the likes of Japan's Kento Momota, Taiwan's Chou Tien Chen and Singapore's Loh Kean Yew with ease in recent months.

With a string of quarter-final and semi-final feats and becoming India's hero at the Thomas Cup, the World No. 18 has been causing upsets.

Although a title win is missing from his shelf this year, Prannoy has by far been the most consistent among the Indian shuttlers, making his position at the pole with 58,090 points hardly a surprise.

"The fact that I have been reaching quarter-finals consistently in most of the events shows that I am playing well," he said.

"It's a matter of time before I keep knocking on the door, open it and win a final.

"Winning the Thomas Cup early this year was the defining moment, not just for me but also Indian badminton itself. That victory gave so much confidence to my teammates, too."

Prannoy produced his best performance of the season at the Swiss Open BWF Super 300 event, making the final.

He also made the semi-finals at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 and Indonesia Open Super 1000 tournaments to accumulate vital ranking points.

Axelsen competed in only seven World Tour events this year, winning four of them. The Dane has 55,450 points.

The World Tour Rankings are different from the world badminton rankings, in which Prannoy is placed 18th in men's singles.

The player said he was always analysing his game and trying to improve.

"It is tough out there as every top player is losing to one or the other," he said.

"Rankings don't matter. On certain days, you have to come up with the right kind of effort to win the match.

"Yes, chats with Gopi (chief national coach Pullela Gopichand) about some minor adjustments before a major event help me as I make a conscious effort to keep stepping into the next level.

"Honestly, I don't chase any goals. All I want is to take care of my body, stay cautious on the niggles during a tournament and hope to finish off the year on a high."

Indo-Asian News Service


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