Hyderabad Open: Top Indians in the fray

Hong Kong is fielding one of the biggest squads and the way they were enthusiastic during the training session, they meant business clearly.

Hong Kong players at the training session at Gachibowli Stadium on eve of Hyderabad Open.   -  V.V. Subramanyan

The growing stature of Indian badminton was evident when the big guns including Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, K. Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy were training at Gopichand Academy on Monday even as the second rung players were slugging it out in practice sessions at the near-by Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, venue of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance-sponsored Hyderabad Open from Tuesday.

A far cry from the days when the same lead players were desperate to take part in any international event as they grew up to make an impact on the world stage.

Not surprisingly, even as the big names are missing as they are preparing for the Majors in the Asian circuit next week, this BWF Series 100 event presents a perfect platform for the contenders to make a statement about their skills.

Hong Kong is fielding one of the biggest squads and the way they were enthusiastic during the training session, they meant business clearly. Interestingly, none of the Chinese players figure in this event.

Some of the familiar names in men’s singles from India include B. Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma, Sourabh Verma, and Lakshya Sen (seeded 10th).

The qualifying round will begin on Tuesday and the main draw on Wednesday.

The seedings:

Men’s singles: 1. Sameer Verma (Ind), 2. B. Sai Praneeth (Ind), 3. Zilberman Misha (Isr), 4. Parupalli Kashyap (Ind), 5. Sourabh Verma (Ind), 6. Maulana Panji Ahmad (Ina), 7. Abdul Firman Kholik (Ina) and 8. Hee Heo Kwang (Kor).

Women’s singles: 1. Ayustine Dinar Dyah (Ina), 2. Mainakina Lyanny Alessandra (Ina), 3. Tam Brittney (Can), 4. Deng Joy Xuan (Hkg), 5. K. Sri Krishna Priya (Ind), 6. Russelli Hartawan (Ina), 7. G. Ruthvika Shivani (Ind) and 8. Mugdha Agrey (Ind).