Badminton-Indian rookie beats idol Hidayat at his own game

NEW DELHI, April 25 Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:19pm IST

NEW DELHI, April 25 (Reuters) - Indian rookie H.S. Prannoy fulfilled a long-cherished dream on Thursday, playing childhood idol Taufik Hidayat and beating him by frequently unleashing effective backhand strokes he modelled on the retiring Indonesian stalwart.

Former world and Olympic champion Hidayat, 31, will hang up is racket in June and he clearly struggled against an Indian 11 years younger as the Indonesian went down 26-24, 21-9 in the round of 16 at the India Open super series tournament.

Prannoy looked dazed after wrapping up the victory in 40 minutes to reach the quarter-finals where the Indian is set to face world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.

"It was a dream to play him. More than winning, I was thinking more about coming and playing him here," said the Indian wiping a bead of sweat from his brow before paying rich tribute to the versatile Indonesian.

"He's a very fancy player. We get to see so many fancy strokes from him.

"Obviously in childhood days, everybody wants to imitate their idols. I did it so many times. I'm a professional player now and I have my own strokes. But if you notice, I have a strong backhand and I learnt it from watching him, the basic technique of hitting a backhand," said the Indian.

Hidayat did not, however, linger to confirm the similarity and immediately left the court.

A bigger challenge awaits Prannoy in the next round and the Indian said it was just the kind of exposure he was looking for.

"It's a dream tournament for me, playing Taufik and Lee Chong Wei back-to-back. I'll do my best." (Editing by Patrick Johnston)

Economic Pulse

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty hits record high above 8,600; state-run lenders gain  Full Article 

Indian in Iraq

Indian in Iraq

India says no contact with 39 men held by Islamic State in Iraq.  Full Article 

Sahara Issue

Sahara Issue

Sahara looks to raise $650 million loan to fund bail.  Full Article 

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster.  Full Article 

Essar Group

Essar Group

Exclusive - Essar's planned oil-for-steel deal tests Iran sanctions  Full Article 

Islamic Fund

Islamic Fund

India gets new Islamic equity fund but debt market still off-limits  Full Article 

Fiscal Deficit

Fiscal Deficit

April-October fiscal deficit nears 90 pct of full-year target  Full Article 

Oil Prices

Oil Prices

Oil hits new four-year low post OPEC as glut looms  Full Article 

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

India eases gold import rule in surprise move.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage