Indian shuttler HS Prannoy clinched his third grand prix gold title by defeating country-mate Parupalli Kashyap in the final of the US Open Grand Prix Gold on Monday. Prannoy beat Kashyap 21-15, 20-22, 21-12 in the All-India final.
Kashyap raced to an early 6-1 advantage in the first game before Prannoy, eyeing a comeback, sent across cross-court smashes. Banking on aggression, he levelled things up at 12-12. Prannoy and Kashyap then played an enthralling rally as Prannoy, coming from behind, sealed the first game 21-15.
The second game however, saw Kashyap in red-hot flow. Nothing separating the two initially, Kashyap and Prannoy indulged in engulfing rallies that saw Kashyap draw a slender lead of 9-7. After the break however, Kashyap extended his stretch to 14-10 and seemed on course to taking the game. But just then, Prannoy notched a spirited comeback and made things even at 18-18.
He then saved two game points to make it 20-20. In the end however, it was Kashyap who prevailed in the battle of nerves to take the second game 22-20.
Kashyap and Prannoy matched each other shot for shot in the decider. But Kashyap made a few errors and Prannoy cashed in to take an early 7-3 lead. Some incredible shots from thereon put things out of reach for Kashyap and Prannoy took a heavy 15-8 lead. Kashyap could only manage four more points as the 25-year-old Prannoy took the final game rather comfortably in the end.
On their way to the final, both shuttlers played out respective competitive matches. Prannoy, notched up a 21-14 21-19 win over Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen in the first semi-final. Kashyap on the other hand, eked out a hard-fought 15-21 21-15 21-16 win over Korean Kwang Hee Heo in the second semifinal which lasted an hour and six minutes. In fact, this was Kashyap’s first final in 21 months.