Fit-again Jayaram, Sourabh eye good run at NZ Open

Ajay Jayaram opens his campaign against fourth seed Hsu Jen Hao from Chinese Taipei.

Sourabh Verma, who had suffered an ankle injury, after Swiss Open, will make a comeback at the event, taking on Australia’s Abhinav Manota in the opening round. (File Photo)   -  Nagara Gopal

After recovering from their respective injuries, Indian shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and Sourabh Verma will look to regain touch and form, when they compete in the $150,000 New Zealand Super 300 tournament, starting here, on Tuesday.

Jayaram, who returned to action at the China Masters, early, in April, after recovering from a hamstring injury that took nearly eight months to heal, opens his campaign against fourth seed Hsu Jen Hao from Chinese Taipei.

“It’s been a very long recovery process for me. I played in China, but it didn’t go well. However, my leg seemed fine. Last two weeks, training has gone better. So, hopefully, these two tournaments would turn out better for me,” Jayaram, who was world no. 15, in July 2017, said.

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“I am trying not to expect too much and just enjoy the game. I’ve been in this situation before and I know that it’s important to give yourself time to get back to form.”

Sourabh, who had suffered an ankle injury, after the Swiss Open, will make a comeback at the event, taking on Australia’s Abhinav Manota in the opening round.

“After the Swiss open, I got injured, while training in India. It was an ankle injury. I had to miss Orleans and Finland (events) in March. However, now I’m fit again to play. So let’s see how it goes,” he said.

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Singapore Open champion B. Sai Praneeth, who had lost to Olympic champion Chen Long in the second round of the Asia Championship last week, will face Israel’s Misha Zilberman, while former national champion Sameer Verma will square up against Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro in another men’s singles match.

Young sensation Lakshya Sen will fight it out with Malaysian June Wei Cheam in the opening round, Subhankar Dey takes on Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto, seeded sixth, while Karan Rajan Rajarajan meets eighth seed Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen.

In women’s singles, Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka will lock horns with Australia’s Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen, while former national champion Rituparna Das will cross swords with Japan’s Natsuki Nidaira, seeded eighth. Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka and Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli will face qualifiers in their opening round.

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In men’s doubles, fifth seeds Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy, young Arjun M.R. and Ramchandran Shlok will be in action. Also, in the fray would be eighth seeds Francis Alwin and K. Nandagopal, and the young pair of Rohan Kapoor and Shivam Sharma.

Fast-rising women’s doubles pair of Meghana Jakkampudi and S. Ram Poorvisha, and the mixed doubles pair of Rohan Kapoor and Kuhoo Garg will also be in the competition.

The experienced mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy will take on Indonesian combo of Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.