Indian badminton pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty look set to extend their good run in the Japan Open Super750, the men’s top event that begins Tuesday, as do India’s men singles stars who need to turn around an otherwise poorweek with several talented players out due to injury or poor form.
Men’s Singles All-Indian Clashes Return
In the men’s singles category, fans will be treated to some exciting all-Indian clashes that have been missing from recent tournaments. Despite dropping two spots to 10th in the rankings, H.S. Prannoy, who won the Malaysia Masters in May, remains India’s top-ranked player. Seeded eighth, Prannoy will face Li Shi Feng of China in the opening round. Prannoy holds a 2-0 record against Feng. Kidambi Srikanth will take on Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, with whom he has a 1-2 record. If both players advance, they could potentially face each other in the quarterfinals, with the winner likely going up against top-seeded Viktor Axelsen. Meanwhile, recent winner of the Canada Open, Lakshya Sen, takes on Indian number three Priyanshu Rajawat in what is a qualifier for the final.
Women’s Singles PV Sindhu’s Struggles Continue
The biggest story in the women’s singles category is the slump of PV Sindhu. The former world champion has struggled since returning from injury last year and currently sits at world No. 17. Sindhu has suffered first-round exits in six out of the 12 BWF World Tour events this year. She will be starting her Japan Open campaign against Zhang Yi Man, whom she defeated in the Malaysian Open quarters in May. However, if Sindhu advances, she is likely to face her nemesis Tai Tzu Ying, who has defeated her in their last nine encounters. Other Indian players in the category, such as Aakarshi Kashyap and Malavika Bansod, also face tough opponents in their opening matches.
Men’s Doubles Eyes on Satwik and Chirag
The pairing of Indian men, Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, are close to reaching the world’s top rankings with their current run of 10 matches won outright.Seeded third, they will face Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin of Indonesia in the first round. The other Indian pair in the draw, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, will start against fourth seeds Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia.
Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles
In the women’s doubles category, the only Indian pair, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, will face Sayaka Hobara and Yui Suizu of Japan in their opening match.India pair Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy will begin the day with a match of mixed doubles, facing off against Chinese pair Ye Hongwei and Lee Chia Sien.