India's star shuttler credits improved fitness for his fine win over Olympic champ Chen Long
India's HS Prannoy is thrilled after his Indonesia Super Series quarter-final win over China’s Chen Long at Jakarta yesterday. Pic /PTI
New Delhi: India's HS Prannoy yesterday described his stunning win over Olympic champion Chen Long as one of the best of his career and credited his better fitness for his giant-killing spree at the ongoing Indonesia Super Series Premier at Jakarta.
World No. 25 Prannoy shocked two-time All England and World Champion Chen Long 21-18, 16-21, 21-19 in a men's singles match in 75 minutes to enter the semi-finals.
The Indian had stunned former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in straight games yesterday.
"It was physically very tough. It was quite tiring towards the end. Especially in the last few points I was trying to focus hard. I am happy I could execute my plans well. It is due to my improved fitness and I think it is one of the best matches of my career," Prannoy said.
Talking about his opponent Chen Long, against whom he has never won in earlier three meetings, Prannoy said: "I hate to play him. He is a sort of player who never gets tired and he has this slow sort of game. He takes everything and he has this giant structure but still very balanced, so making him push is difficult. Even if you are playing good shots it seems you are not doing enough against him. To crack him is tough.
"I was really getting confused in the end whether to go for lifts or pushes and so I ended up making three errors. I think after the game, I have learnt a lot and I hope this win will only help me as I go along in future," he added.
It was quite windy at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) but Prannoy said he handled the conditions pretty well. "The conditions are always tough in Asian countries, it is the same every year but I think I handled it better today."
The 24-year-old will next play Kazumasa Sakai of Japan today. "I haven't played my next opponent ever. But it will be a tough match because he has been in good form. He has beaten so many quality players. He is in good touch and he adjusted well to the conditions here. He seems a tricky player especially at the net and it will be tough, especially in the first game," Prannoy signed off.