Bangkok [Thailand], December 9 (ANI): India's ace shuttler HS Prannoy finished with a victory over world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark at the BWF World Tour Finals 2022 in his third and final Group A men's singles match on Friday in Bangkok, Thailand.
This was HS Prannoy's second victory over Viktor Axelsen, the current Olympic and world champion. Following five straight defeats, the Indian badminton player defeated Viktor Axelsen for the first time at the Indonesia Masters in 2016.
Despite winning, HS Prannoy will not advance to the BWF World Tour Finals semi-finals in 2022 since he lost his prior matches to China's Lu Guang Zu and Japan's Kodai Naraoka as per the Olympics website.
By winning his first two matches, Viktor Axelsen qualified for the semi-finals. He will be joined in the final four by the victor of the match between Kodai Naraoka and Lu Guang Zu in the following round. The semi-finals are only reached by two players from each of the two groups.
The Danish shuttler and HS Prannoy ranked No. 12 in the world, began the match on an even playing field. Though the score was tied at 5, Viktor Axelsen quickly pulled ahead by scoring five points in a row, eventually taking the lead 1-0.
In the second game, Prannoy was once more in trouble, down 10-6. Later, the Indian badminton player played prolonged rallies and forced several unforced mistakes from Viktor Axelsen to take the game into the third set.
When poised at 12-12 in the third game, HS Prannoy maintained his cool to build a five-point advantage. He had lost his previous two group matches from a winning position. In the closing minutes, Viktor Axelsen had a chance to win the game, but HS Prannoy played flawlessly to secure victory.
HS Prannoy was able to qualify for his first BWF World Tour Finals thanks to some impressive showings this year. The BWF World Tour Finals, which conclude the year, only feature the top eight individuals and pairs from the season's standings.
In May, HS Prannoy assisted the Indian badminton team in winning its maiden Thomas Cup title and was placed second at the Swiss Open Super 300 competition. Additionally, he advanced to the semifinals of the Malaysia Masters Super 500 and Indonesia Open Super 1000 competitions.
Prannoy was able to climb back into the top 15 of the badminton world rankings after almost four years thanks to the performances, which also helped him place third overall in the BWF World Tour Finals standings.
The lone Indian to go to the finals of the championship is PV Sindhu, who is recovering from an ankle injury. In 2018, she triumphed in the women's singles competition at the BWF World Tour Finals. (ANI)