HS Prannoy beats Parupalli Kashyap to lift US Open badminton title
Anaheim (California): Rising shuttler HS Prannoy overcame some anxious moments before getting the better of compatriot Parupalli Kashyap in what was an all-Indian men's singles final of the US Open Grand Prix Gold here on Monday.
The 25-year-old Prannoy beat the reigning Commonwealth Games champion 21-15, 20-22, 21-12 in over an hour to clinch his third grand prix gold title.
Prannoy, who had come into this second-tier competition seeded No 2, made it to the final after defeating Vietnam's Tien Minh Nguyen while Kashyap overcame South Korean Kwang Hee Heo in the semi-finals.
In the first game, Kashyap raced to an early 6-1 advantage before Prannoy's cross-court smashes helped him draw level at 12-12.
They gathered the next few points alternatively before Prannoy came from behind to seal the opening game 21-15.
However, Kashyap, playing his first final in 21 months, used all his experience to fight back in the second game and leaped to a 14-9 lead. But the doughty Prannoy refused to go down and restored parity at 15-all.
Each time Kashyap broke away to lead by a couple of points, Prannoy dragged him back, until they hit 20-all. In the end, Kashyap bagged the vital two points to take the match to the decider.
The third and final game initially witnessed stiff competition from both the Indians until a few errors from Kashyap helped Prannoy cruise to 11-7 lead before extending it to 15-8 and finally pocketing it 21-12.