Indians at Glasgow: How they stack up

Here are profiles of prominent Indian players who will be in action in the World badminton championship in Glasgow.
P. V. Sindhu — After being in the shadow of Saina Nehwal, Sindhu announced her arrival on the big stage by winning successive World championship bronze medals in 2013 and 2014. Beginning from her victory over the newly-crowned London Olympics champion Li Xuerui in 2012, Sindhu has consistently lived up to expectations. She became a household name by returning with an unexpected silver medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics. At Glasgow, Sindhu will be a serious medal contender.
Saina Nehwal — For nearly a decade beginning from 2006, Saina had been the face of Indian badminton. She had victories over all the leading players, though the big titles eluded her. A bronze-medallist in the London Olympics and a silver medallist in the 2015 World championship, Saina is presently fighting fitness and form. Given her grit and the ground she has conceded to Sindhu, Saina can be expected to produce something special at Glasgow.
Rituparna Das — The current National champion is among the new crop of talent from the P. Gopi Chand Academy. Ranked 46th in the World, this third strongest lady player in India has won only five out of 13 international matches played this year. This 21-year will take some time to be consistent in the Grand Prix events, before setting her sights on the superseries events. Her vast potential indicates a bright future.Photo: The Hindu
Tanvi Lad — National runner-up in 2017, the 26-year-old has been around for a while without making much of an impact. In October 2014, she gained her career-best ranking of 51. At present, she is placed 93rd on the world list. This year, till March, she played in four internationals and made first-round exits. In the coming days, she is likely to face serious challenges from younger rivals.
Ashwini Ponnappa — Made the country's most successful ladies doubles pair ever with G. Jwala and went to win the bronze in the 2011 World championship in London. The duo also won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2010 and silver in 2014. Currently in partnership with N. Sikki Reddy, Ashwini expects to reach a new high. Ranked 25th in the world, the pair continues to make steady progress. In mixed doubles, she partners Sumeeth Reddy and enjoys a world ranking of 55. Her most potent weapon is the forehand smash.
N. Sikki Reddy — A doubles specialist, Sikki has been around for a few years but rose in rankings only after joining hands with Ashwini. She has won a number of titles in lesser-known international events but still awaits a big break in the superseries events. The left-hander also plays mixed doubles with more success in the company of Pranaav Chopra. Ranked 20th, the pair is seeded 15 in Glasgow.
K. Srikanth — Once ranked third in the World, this bearded right-hander has raised the bar for his compatriots. Currently ranked eighth, he has scored over the legendary Lin Dan and Chen Long to reinforce the belief that Indian shuttlers have well and truly arrived on the big stage. An attacking player, he has added more to his repertoire in the past two seasons. His recent form raises hopes of a possible medal from Glasgow.
B. Sai Praneeth — The former World junior semifinalist has taken time to mature. Troubled by injuries and inconsistency, Praneeth finally showed signs of striking it big by winning the Singapore and the Thailand Opens in April this year. In fact, he has a 19-5 win-loss record in the year so far. Ranked 19th, against his best of 14th, he could well prove to be a 'dangerous floater' in Glasgow.
Ajay Jayaram — A regular in the international circuit, Ajay is yet to make a mark at the superseries tournaments. In spite of a 6-9 win-loss record this year, Ajay is ranked 17th in the world after being placed at a career-high 13th in June this year. His current form is poor since he has lost in the first round of six out of nine events so far this year. Known to work hard, Ajay's best came in the 2015 Korea Open where he finished runner-up to Chen Long. He has also won the Dutch Open twice in four final appearances.
Sameer Verma — The 2016 National champion is among those Indians who have a victory over current World No. 1 Son Wan Ho, whom he beat in the India Open this year. In fact, on way to the Syed Modi Grand Prix title in January, the eighth seed defeated among others, second seeded Dane Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Sai Praneeth. Last month, he made the quarterfinals of the US Open where he lost to teammate P. Kashyap.
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