Tough draw for Saina, Sindhu; Srikanth better placed

The tourney is to be held later this month.

P. V. Sindhu (left) is a two-time bronze medallist and Saina Nehwal a silver medallist in the World Championship.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

Strong Chinese and Korean presence in the passage P. V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, K. Srikanth and Ajay Jayaram stood out when the draw for the World badminton championship, beginning in Glasgow on August 21, were made in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Fourth seed Sindhu could face Hong Kong’s Ngyan Yi Cheung, seeded 13, for a place in the quarterfinal where she could run into fifth seed Sun Yu. Sindhu trials 3-4 in head-to-head encounters against the top-ranked Chinese.

Saina’s potential rival in the pre-quarterfinal is second seeded Korean Sung Hi Hyun, against whom she holds a 7-2 record. Should the 12th seeded Indian advance to the quarterfinal, her first-ever clash against China’s He Bingiiao, seeded six, is anticipated.

Understandably, Rituparna Das and Tanvi Lad have a tough way ahead. Should Tanvi beat England’s Chole Birch in the opener, she faces Sung Ji Hyun. Rituparna, in the same quarter of the draw as Saina, plays Finland’s Airi Mikkela in the opener. In the second, she could face He Bingjiao.

Among the men, eighth seed Srikanth is drawn to play top seeded Korean Son Wan Ho in the quarterfinals. The top-half also includes the Chinese duo of Shi Yuqi and former World and Olympic champion Lin Dan, seeded four and seven.

Ajay Jayaram, seeded 13, is in the same quarter as two-time defending champion Chen Long, seeded five.

B. Sai Praneeth, seeded 15, plays Hong Kong’s Wei Nan in the opening round and could face Chinese Taipei’s sixth seed Chou Tien Chen in the pre-quarterfinals. The strongest player in Sai’s quarter is Viktor Axelsen, the third seed from Denmark.

Unseeded Sameer Verma plays Spain’s Pablo Abian and a victory should earn him a match against 16th seed Rajiv Ouseph of England.

Interestingly, second seeded Malaysian Lee Chong Wei could run into Chen Long for a place in the semifinals.


The doubles draw for Indians is as follows (prefix denotes world rankings):

Men doubles: 31-Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy v 54- Chung Eui Seok-Kim Dukyong (Korea); 37-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty v 28-Hiroyuki Endo-Yura Watanabe (Japan); 41-M. R. Arjun-Ramchandran Shlok v 44-Liao Min Chun-Cheng Heng Su (Chinese Taipei).

Women doubles: 25-Ashwini Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy v 51-Ririn Amelia (Indonesia)-Anna Ching Yik Cheong (Malaysia); 41-J. Meghna-Poorvisha Ram v 60-Eefje Muskens-Selena Piek (the Nederlands); 38-Sanjana Santosh-Aarthi Saha Sunil v 102-Natalya Vovtsekh-Yelyzaveta Zharka (Ukraine)

Mixed doubles: 20-Pranav Chopra-Sikki Reddy (seeded 15) bye; 55-Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa v 50-Sawan Serasinghe and Setyana

Mapasa (Australia); 76-Satwiksairaj Ranikireddy-K. Maneesha v 49-Tam Chun Hei-Ng Tsz Yau (Hong Kong).

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