Delhi Acers: Looking to ace it again!

The Russian men’s doubles duo of Ivan Sozonov and Vladimir Ivanov, former All-England champions, could be the game changers as Delhi Acers aims to regain the title it won in 2016.

Sung Ji Hyun... a Rs. 50 lakh acquisition.   -  PTI

Former champion Delhi Acers may fall short in terms of pre-tournament listings. But the Russian men’s doubles duo of Ivan Sozonov and Vladimir Ivanov, former All-England champions, could be the game changers as Delhi aims to regain the title it won in 2016.

Though Sozonov and Ivanov have won just the Russian Open title in 2017, their sheer experience and awesome smashes can rattle the best of opponents.

It will be interesting to see how the Indian doubles specialist Pranaav Jerry Chopra figures in the scheme of things as Delhi rolls out its strategy.

In singles, it will be the 25-year-old Chinese Tian Houwei, finalist in the 2016 Dubai BWF Super Series, and also at the All-England championship in the same year, who will be the big hope. Delhi also has another Chinese men’s singles player in Vincent Wong Wing Ki.

In women’s singles, the big name to watch will be World No. 5 Sung Ji Hyun, former World Championship bronze medallist and a member of the gold medal-winning Korean team in the Sudirman Cup. She has cost the team Rs. 50 lakh.

In women’s doubles, former world championship star Ashwini Ponnappa will be partnering the 23-year-old Arathi Sara Sunil (who partnering Sanjana Santosh won the 2016 Polish Open doubles title and was runner-up in the same event this year partnering K. Maneesha).

This will be a huge challenge by any means for Ashwini given the high-voltage atmosphere the matches will be played in and the team’s think-tank expecting so much from her given her reputation.

Performance: Winner in 2016.

Quote: “We are a balanced side with some quality players in singles and doubles with the Russian duo being too good. Hope to be consistent throughout the event to win the title again. However, the most important aspect for us will be to be smart with our use of ‘trump’ selections and make them count.” – Ashwini Ponnappa.