March 21: Indian youngster H S Prannoy shocked Marc Zwiebler of Germany in the men’s singles final of the Swiss Open on Sunday to claim his second second Grand Prix Gold badminton title.
he 23-year-old registered a straight game win over his higher-ranked German opponent in the USD 120,000 tournament in Basel. The Indian took 45 minutes to beat seventh seeded Zwiebler 21-18 21-15.
Prannoy had previously won the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold in 2014.
Seeded 13th, Prannoy began the match on a confident note and surged to a 7-4 lead in the first game before the German, ranked 19th as compared to the Indian’s 27th, fought his way back into the match.
The two rivals were tied at 18-18 and it was from there that the Indian took three straight points at a crucial juncture to take the opening game 21-18.
With the opening game in his pocket, Prannoy grew in confidence as he outclassed his more experienced German rival in the second game to win the match. The Indian led the second game from start to finish with the German playing a catch-up game.
Prannoy opened up a 3-0 lead and then increased the gap to 13-8. Though Zwiebler narrowed down the gap in scoreline a bit, Prannoy was in no mood to squander the advantage and held on to his nerves to take three straight points towards the end to clinch the second game and the match.
Top seed in the women’s singles, Saina Nehwal had lost to third seed Wang Yihan of China 11-21 19-21 in the semifinals.