Rejuvenated after a month-long break, India’s top shuttlers, including P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, will resume their quest for glory when the south-east Asia leg of BWF world tour begins with the $ 700,000 Malaysian Open here on Tuesday.
Srikanth and Sindhu had skipped the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in May to regain full fitness ahead of the hectic schedule which includes back-to-back tournaments such as the $ 1,250,000 Indonesia Open, $ 350,000 Thailand Open and $ 355,000 Singapore Open, followed by the prestigious World championship and Asian Games.
Srikanth and Sindhu have been in good form as they returned with silver medals from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but the fortnight-long multisport event also took a toll on their body and they worked hard on their fitness.
After bagging four titles last season, fourth seed Srikanth will look to lay claim to his first crown of the season when he begins his campaign against former world number 2 Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark, who is on a comeback trail after recovering from a recurring heel injury.
“I have been working on my fitness after a hectic Commonwealth Games. With many events back to back, my focus is to be remain injury free and give my 100 percent in each event that I play. So looking forward to a good outing at Malaysia,” Srikanth said.
Last year, Sindhu had registered victories in three tournaments and reached the finals in other three events, including the World Championship and Dubai Super Series Final, but ahead of the CWG, she had an ankle sprain.
Sindhu, who had finished as runners-up at India Open, will begin her campaign against Japan’s Aya Ohori and is expected to clash with Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the quarterfinals.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, too, seems to have got back her mojo as she defeated Sindhu in the final in Gold Coast to claim her second CWG gold medal. She gave ample glimpse of her fitness and form when she lost narrowly to Akane Yamaguchi during India’s clash against Japan at the Uber Cup Final.
Saina, who was runners-up at Indonesia Masters earlier in the year, will also look to continue her good run when she faces Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin in the opening round.
Among other Indians in fray, B Sai Praneeth will face Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei, while Sameer Verma takes on Indoensia’s Tommy Sugiarto. HS Prannoy decided to skip Malaysia Open but he would compete at next week’s Indonesia Open.
In men’s doubles, CWG silver medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will look to regain their touch when they face seventh seeded Japanese combo of Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko, while National champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will meet Indonesian combo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will face Chinese fourth seeded pair of Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong.
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