BWF World Championships 2023 | HS Prannoy enters second round with shaky win
Star Indian shuttler HS Prannoy defeated Kalle Koljonen of Finland in straight games on Monday to go to the men's singles second round of the World Championships. The ninth-ranked Indian defeated left-handed Koljonen 24-22, 21-10, bringing his head-to-head record against the Finn to 3-0.
The first game was close, as Koljonen quickly took the lead with an 8-4 score. However, Prannoy scored seven points in a row to take an 11-8 advantage into halftime. After play resumed, though, an exciting struggle started, and Koljonen ultimately won three game points after shoving one of his rival's forehands away.
However, a composed Prannoy preserved all three game points before hitting wide to give his adversary the edge once more. When it was 22-21 in favour of the Finnish player, he sprayed into the net after saving another game point with a backhand block at the net. Koljonen lost a net battle and missed long, giving the Indian the advantage, which he took advantage of with a thunderous cross-court smash, but he was unable to capitalise.
Prannoy briefly had a 6-5 advantage in the second game, which began evenly matched. To open up a six-point advantage at halftime with a straight smash, the Indian quickly gained momentum, though. Koljonen struggled to manoeuvre Prannoy's angles and ploys as the Indian continued advancing, and after a Koljonen wide, Prannoy quickly earned 12 match points.
Before the Indian closed the door with a direct smash, Prannoy missed one attempt at the net and Koljonen saved another.