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Thomas Cup: I was sure Lakshya will win the first match against Indonesia, says HS Prannoy

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Mumbai, May 16 (Ajitweekly News) As the Indian men’s badminton team geared up for the summit clash with Indonesia in the Thomas Cup in Bangkok on Sunday, there were concerns among fans about how singles player Lakshya Sen was coping with the situation as he had lost three matches in a row.

Lakshya, who started with an easy win over Max Weisskirchen in the 5-0 win over Germany, was rested for the second match before losing to Chin Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in three games as India lost the tie 3-2 and finished runner-up in Pool C.

In the quarterfinal against Malaysia, the 20-year-old from Almora went down to Lee Zii Jie in the first singles, and in the semifinals, he ran into Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen and went down in two games.

But his teammates were confident of Lakshya giving India a good start, said HS Prannoy, who made this possible by winning the fifth match in the quarterfinal and semifinal wins over Malaysia and Denmark respectively.

“Though Lakshya had lost three matches in a row, I was sure that he will win against Indonesia. The day before the final match, we kept reminding each other that this was a great opportunity for us and we have to give it our best.”

“When we started from Hyderabad, we had hopes of winning a medal in this Thomas Cup but we were not expecting gold. So, it’s an unbelievable experience,” said Prannoy.

Lakshya came back from a game down to defeat Anthony Ginting in three games to give India a 1-0 lead and the doubles pair of SAtwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty made it 3-0, saving four match points in the second game. Kidambi Srikanth then won against Jonathan Christie to seal the victory, making India only the sixth country to win the Thomas Cup title.

He said they did not expect to win 3-0 against 14-time champion Indonesia.

“We never expected to win 2-0 against such a strong team like Indonesia. I was very happy that I did not have to play in the match, so when I ran wildly onto the court after Srikanth won the final point, I was ecstatic that I didn’t have to play the fifth rubber as I did against Malaysia and Denmark. I handled that pressure twice and I did not want to handle such pressure again,” said Prannoy.

Prannoy will next participate in this week’s Thailand Open and will be hoping to continue this form in the Bwf tour event too.

–Ajitweekly News


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