New Delhi: Prannoy HS, playing in his first year-end tournament, has been clubbed in Group A along with Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, Japan’s Kodai Naraoka and China’s Lu Guang Zu in the BWF World Tour Finals.
The World No. 12 is India’s lone entry into the year ending World Tour Finals in Bangkok, is keen on ending the year on a high.
Prannoy, seeded third, will fancy his chances of making it to the semifinals from the group stage, which starts from Wednesday.
“I am really excited to start my BWF World Tour Finals campaign. It’s my first time in the year-ending championships and I hope I can perform really well,” said Prannoy.
PV Sindhu is the lone Indian shuttler to win the prestigious season-ending championships in 2018.
World No. 12 shuttler has reinvented himself this year with some power-packed performances, which helped him regain his position in the Top-15 of BWF World Rankings almost after four years.
Prannoy helped the Indian team clinch their first Thomas Cup crown in May and also finished runner-up finish at the Swiss Open Super 300 and reached the last four stage of the Indonesia Open Super 1000 and Malaysia Masters Super 500 event.
“We always believed in him, his game and his skills. He has performed significantly for long time and it’s time for him to win the title. His ability to defeat top players of the world, at any given day, makes him a strong contender to end up at the top of the podium at this year’s BWF World Tour Finals,” said Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of Badminton Association of India (BAI).
The knockout draw for the semifinals will take place on Friday evening at the conclusion of the final group matches.
The by-invitation Finals features the top eight players and pairs on the BWF World Tour Rankings, with a maximum of two players or pairs per Member Association eligible.
The current world champions gain automatic entry. Players will be competing for a total prize pool of US$1.5 million.