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HS Prannoy wins Malaysia Masters 2023, clinches maiden BWF World Tour title

India’s H.S. Prannoy beat China’s Weng Hong Yang 21-19, 13-21, 21-18 in the Malaysia Masters 2023 final in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to claim his first BWF World Tour title.

Facing off for the first time, Prannoy and Weng saw a close battle in the first game, with the former taking a slender 11-10 lead at the mid-way interval.

Prannoy made the first move by pulling ahead 15-12 before the southpaw from China won three successive points and drew level. The Indian, however, stuck to his forehands and restored his advantage. He won two game points and needed both to settle the game 21-19.

The Chinese shuttler replied swiftly in the second iteration. While the tug-off continued in the early points, Weng rallied in the later stage of the game to pocketed seven game points and eventually close out the game.

As the contest lumbered into a third game, the rallies became longer and the points more intense. It was again Prannoy who led 11-10, having fought back from a 5-7 deficit earlier.

Prannoy opened three-point leads twice after the final mid-game break, at 14-11 and 16-13, but allowed his opponent a way back.

At a slender 17-16 advantage, Prannoy won a point with a forehand winner. Two unforced error on successive points, however, got Weng level at 18-18.

The World No. 9’s persistence with all-out attack yielded dividends when two forehand smashes down-the-line on either side got him two championship points. Prannoy was able to convert upon the first asking to clinch his first tour-level title.

Malaysia Masters is the first event for the Road to Paris – the qualifying cycle for Paris 2024 Olympics.

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