Srikanth and Co. eye ranking points for Olympic qualification at Orleans Masters

The USD 90,000 Super 100 tournament will offer valuable points for Olympic qualification.

Kidambi Srikanth

India's Kidambi Srikanth in action during a match at the All England Open Badminton Championships on March 17.   -  AP

Top Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth will look to shake off the disappointment of an early exit from the All England Championship when he competes at the Orleans Masters Super 100 tournament starting with the qualifiers on Tuesday.

Saina Nehwal, who had pulled out of the opening round in Birmingham due to a thigh injury, is recovering well but will take a call on her participation on Wednesday.

The USD 90,000 tournament will offer valuable points for Olympic qualification and Srikanth and Saina will be eager to do well to inch closer to the Tokyo berth.

"Saina has made considerable progress since withdrawing from All England. She has started training on Saturday. She is slowly recovering but not yet 100 per cent. But it is an important event for Olympic qualification, so we will take a call on Wednesday," Indian physiotherapist C Kiran told PTI.

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While top seed Srikanth has received a bye, fourth seed Saina is scheduled to open against Malaysia's Kisona Selvaduray.

Srikanth, who lost to Ireland's Nhat Nguyen in the first round in Birmingham, is likely to face fellow Indian Ajay Jayaram in the second round. Jayaram will open against Finland's Kalle Kolojonen.

Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, seeded fifth, has got a bye and is expected to meet France's Toma Junior Popov in the second round.

Among others, seventh seed HS Prannoy, Siril Verma and Chirag Sen also received first-round byes, while Kiran George will meet Netherland's Mark Caljouw, who had reached the semifinals of the All England Championships.

Subhankar Dey, the 2018 SaarLorLux Open champion, will face Ditlev Jaeger Holm of Denmark.

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Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, seeded 8th, will square off against Denmark's Amalie Magelund and Freja Ravn.

The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki will meet the French duo of Julien Maio and Lea Palermo, while Dhruv will pair up with Ashwini, to take on the fourth-seeded English pair of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock.

Seventh-seeded Indian men's doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will meet the England pair of Matthew Clare and Ethan Van Leeuwen in the opening round.

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