It was an unlikely venue for an all-Indian clash as HS Prannoy beat Parupalli Kashyap in a thrilling three-set game at the Anaheim Convention Centre Arena to claim the prestigious $120,000 Yonex US Open today. Prannoy, who has spent a fair amount of his time nursing injuries, took the first set and lost the second one before taking the third set in a nerve-wracking finish, the final scoreline reading 21-15 20-22 21-12. The match lasted a full 65 minutes, and was marked with fast paced rallies, many of which ended with Prannoy’s powerful smashes. This was especially true in the second game, as the two players fought for each point. Kashyap was up by 14-9 at one point but Prannoy got back to 15-15 soon enough.
Kashyap, however, got back to 20-18 before Prannoy grabbed two points, but Kashyap sealed the second game with a powerful smash to level the lead over his younger compatriot. The third set saw Prannoy shifting gears, changing strategies with his deft touch in the lifts and better net strokes helping him go to a 13-7 lead soon enough. Kashyap fought back and gave Prannoy quite a challenge but with a misjudged baseline shot, Kashyap lost the third and deciding game. The duo had previously met at the German Open back in 2014, and had a head-to-head record of 1-1 coming into the game.
Prannoy had burst onto the international scene with a silver medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics but has since been plagued with injuries. He suffered knee injury in 2011 and back injury in 2012 but managed to reach the 2013 Tata Open. He got to the semi-finals of the Syed Modi International and won the Grand Prix Gold in Indonesia in 2014. He appeared to be in great form at the Badminton Premier League this year but managed to injure his knee and toe in the process. He did recover to get to semifinals of the Indonesia Super Series Premier, where he defeated the Olympic silver and gold medallist Lee Chong Wei and Cheng Long in two stunning upsets.