HS Prannoy upsets Asian Games champion Christie at Toyota Thailand Open

HS Prannoy, who has beaten legends like Lin Dan and Taufik Hidayat, added another high-profile name to his list.

By Rahul Venkat ·

India’s HS Prannoy came back from a game down to win against reigning Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in the first round of the Toyota Thailand Open on Wednesday.

Prannoy beat Christie 18-21, 21-16, 23-21 at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok.

In a tightly contested first game, HS Prannoy began slow but gathered his momentum midway through the game as he pulled off some great cross-court smashes to stretch the sixth-seeded Jonatan Christie.

The Indonesian though walked into the mid-game break leading 11-9 and won three consecutive points to build a five-point cushion soon after. However, Prannoy’s reactionary net shots brought him back into the game to tie it at 17-17. Christie, though, eked out the four points he needed to take the first game.

HS Prannoy came flying off the blocks in the second game, increasing the ferocity and frequency of his smashes. It forced Jonatan Christie, known for his court coverage, into being defensive and he committed several unforced errors, especially at the net.

The Indian badminton player was also excellent with his shuttle recovery and he comfortably won the second game to force a decider against the world No. 7.

Jonatan Christie was much more alert to HS Prannoy’s shots in the third game and took an early lead but the Indian bounced back to stretch Christie and carried an 11-8 lead heading into the break.

The match continued at breakneck speed post that as neither player looked ready to give up, but Christie looked to have wrapped it up when he earned a match point at 20-18.

However, HS Prannoy won the next two points but there was a major scare for the Indian as he seemed to have hurt his left shoulder while recovering a shuttle at 20-21.

He was looked at by the physio and returned to the badminton court to force Jonatan Christie into two more errors and cap off a memorable victory.

“I’m proud of my win today. I haven’t practiced the last few days and my rib was hurting. Probably there’s a muscle inflammation because I was coughing a lot when I had COVID. Today I just wanted to stay in there as there were no expectations,” Prannoy said after the match.

Watch: HS Prannoy 'proud' after dramatic upset win in first round

HS Prannoy dug deep to pull off an unexpected triumph over Asian Games cham...

Meanwhile, the young men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila began the day on a positive note for Indian badminton as they beat New Zealand’s Oliver Leydon-Davis and Abhinav Manota 23-21, 21-17.

However, India’s women’s doubles campaign came to an early end as Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy fell 21-11, 21-19 to the German pair of Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich.

N Sikki Reddy then suffered a second loss of the day in the mixed doubles with husband B Sumeeth Reddy as the couple fell 14-21, 21-18, 13-21 to Malaysia’s Hoo Pang Ron and Cheah Yee See in the opening round.

After conceding the first game, the Indian badminton pair dug deep in the second to force a decider and were leading into the break but got stuck on 13 points as the Malaysian duo reeled off six consecutive points at 12-12 to effectively seal the match.

For play-by-play highlights of the Indian contingent, visit our live blog of Day 2 of the Toyota Thailand Open.

Lead Photo: Badmintonphoto - Courtesy of BWF