World No. 11 Prannoy wants to stay away from negativity and is not bothered about "extreme conditions" in Jakarta for Asian Games
Indian shuttler HS Prannoy is prepared to take “calculative risks” to win as he gets ready for two big events – World Championships and Asian Games.
World Championships will be played in Nanjing, China from 30 July to 5 August while Asian Games run from 18 August to 2 September in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.
Ahead of these two major assignments, Prannoy said he was not thinking about the past losses and focused on doing well in China and Indonesia.
"I have stopped thinking about losing those crucial matches because it brings a lot of negativity. I am just focusing on a whole perspective where I need to implement those strokes, take calculative risks and not hold back," Prannoy told PTI.
The 26-year-old added, "I guess people notice when you lose, they won't notice when you take risks and win some matches. ABC (Asian Badminton Championship) was one tournament where it worked for me and I got a medal. But I guess you need to keep trying."
Prannoy, the world number 11, had to endure heart breaks of losing three-game thrillers this season. At the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, he lost two matches (both three-setters), in semi-finals and bronze medal play-off.
However, at ABC, he fought hard to claim bronze. Again, he prevailed in three-setters against Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei (pre-quarters) and former world No. 2 Korean Son Wan Ho in quarter-finals.
Prannoy said he doesn’t want to be “scared” to do things which he is good at.
"The biggest thing would be to not be scared to do things which you are actually good at. At crucial junctures, you doubt yourself, sometimes you go for it and sometimes you don't," the Kerala player said.
Talking about Thomas Cup, where played even not being 100% fit, he explained, "In Thomas Cup, I had no option. Half of the team was injured and only B Sai Praneeth and Lakhsya Sen were fit. I had a stress ankle fracture after ABC. But since most of them were not playing, so I thought I would just go and participate."
On the upcoming World Championships, he said, “Draw doesn't matter if you play well, you win. But I think I have a good draw. I'm playing Abhinav (Manota) in the first round. He had beaten Sourabh, so he is good and in an event like the World Championship you can't expect things to be easy. I have to be on my toes right from the start.”
Last year, Prannoy had gone on a giant-killing spree at Indonesia Open, upsetting the legendary Malaysian Lee Chong Wei and Olympic champion Chen Long to reach the semifinals. He made a good start at Jakarta early this month when he stunned two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan in the opening round.
Asked if the win against Lin Dan came as a boost, Prannoy said: "Not really, I mean it was a good win because I was coming back from injury. But Lin Dan is not playing at his best. The younger players are faster these days. Lin Dan lacks speed because of age, probably. Kento Momota, Shi Yuqi, they are more attacking, so it is tough to beat them."
Prannoy spoke about the “extreme conditions” in Jakarta for Asian Games. But he added that he was not perturbed by them.
"It is extreme conditions in Jakarta, so it is very tough. Centre court is better but side courts are tougher, it is very difficult to connect shots. I don't think there will be any drastic change in the conditions during Asian Games. So, it is up to us to learn how to play in these conditions.
"People who are extremely attacking will find it very difficult. Players who have more control, who don't go for big hits, and depend on softer strokes will have an edge because contact is really tough over there," Prannoy explained.
With PTI inputs
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Last Updated 22, Jul 2018, 2:41 PM