India's ace shuttler HS Prannoy stunned the world no.1 Victor Axelsen with a dominant win in the quarterfinals of the men's singles event at the BWF World Championships 2023 on Friday, August 25. Prannoy recorded a comeback win after losing the opening set and also confirmed a medal for India with an impressive display.

Prannoy, the current world no.9, lost the opening set by an eight-point margin but stood firm to clinch a dominating 21-13, 15-21, 16-21 win to make India proud again. Axelsen, playing on his home turf, entered the game as a clear favourite having won the previous edition and the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics.

Playing in his record-leveling third consecutive quarterfinals of the World Championships, Prannoy started on a backfoot. Axelsen was aggressive with return serves and added early pressure on his opponent with quick shots. 

Axelson was too strong for Prannoy in the first set but the Indian shuttler kept his cool in the following games to take control. He was aggressive and committed with some risky

shots and also defended well when Axelsen tried to break him in the third set. Prannoy was on another level as he easily outclassed Axelson to win the last set by 16-21 to enter the semi-final round.

Prannoy did not hide his happiness after the game and said that he was completely into the game, ignoring the surroundings and that helped him stay in his zone.

"Ohh yes! I finally have a worlds medal," Prannoy said after defeating Axelsen. "I just zoned out, the only thing under my control is me. I was actually not thinking anything else today, just thinking what to do to take the next five points. A lot of thinking I was doing inside but was not aware what was happening around. I was pretty much in my zone after the second game."

Prannoy, 31, was carrying India's only hopes for the medal in this edition's World Championships after a shock defeat to star pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty in the men's doubles quarterfinal event today. Prannoy will face Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the semi-final round on Saturday (August 26).
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