Superseries Q/Fs don’t satisfy us: HS PrannoyDecember 26, 2017
GUWAHATI: Dubbed as ‘the beast’ by his good friend Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy sits easy and relaxed for a conversation. The weight of not being a senior national champion is finally off his shoulder and the world No. 10 could not be happier about it – a point that stands out as he reflects on his career.
“I had never won a national championship before. The last couple of years we had been skipping it. Moreover, it is very tough to win those tournaments because the Nationals are always special. Once you’re national champion, you are always a national champion,” says the 25 year-old who claimed the coveted title in men’s singles, in Nagpur, earlier in the year.
With Srikanth racking up four Superseries titles this year, Prannoy wants to take it up as a challenge rather than treat as a burden.
“Well, it’s not pressure. It is a challenge definitely. Raising the bar is never easy. Couple of years back when we (Indians) used to play in a Superseries quarterfinal, we used to be happy, but now we need to win something to make news. In the practice sessions if one is not there 100 percent, he won’t be in top ten or top five. That realization has come,” says Prannoy.
Ask him about his quarterfinal match-up with junior world No. 1 Lakshya Sen in the 81st edition of the tournament in Patna, Prannoy is candid enough to state that his own expectations of himself and his constant endeavour to win stalled his progress despite taking a 7-0 lead in the opening game.
“Oh, yes! I remember. It was one match where I felt I had chances I didn’t capitalize on. I thought I might never be a national champion after losing that match. I had never been one since my under-13 days. Whenever I got to a national tournament it used to run through my mind. So in Nagpur I was ready to lose in any round, thinking it won’t matter but that really took the pressure (off me),” says Prannoy.