India Open 2022: Srikanth-Yew could face in semifinal; Easy draw for Sindhu, Satwik-Shetty

Top seed Srikanth, who regained his place in the world's top 10, will open his campaign against compatriot Siril Verma.

Kidambi Srikanth

FILE PHOTO: India badminton player Kidambi Srikanth addresses a press conference at the Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad on December 21.   -  The Hindu Archives

A repeat clash of the recent World championship final is in the offing after top seed Kidambi Srikanth and World champion Loh Kean Yew found themselves in the same half of the men’s singles draw in the $400,000 India Open badminton beginning on January 11.

The two are slated to meet in the semifinals, should Srikanth get past sixth seed Sameer Verma and if the fifth-seeded Singaporean upstages fourth-seeded Thai Kantaphone Wagcharoen.

The men’s draw featuring a large number of Indians is also likely to see a clash between World championship bronze medallist Lakshya Sen and quarterfinalist H. S. Prannoy, seeded third and eighth respectively, in the quarterfinals.

Second seed B. Sai Praneeth could play Ajay Jayaram on the way while P. Kashyap will have to beat back the challenge of seventh seed Tommy Sugiarto for quarterfinal berth.

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In the women’s singles, P. V. Sindhu should have no serious challenge on her way to the final. Fifth seed Evegeniya Kosetskaya is in the same quarter as Sindhu. From the next quarter, Sindhu is likely to face either third seed Yeo Jia Min (Singapore) or sixth seed Supanida Katethong (Thailand).

From the bottom half of the draw, fourth seed Saina Nehwal could face Malvika Bansod in the second round, and Iris Wang (USA) in the quarterfinal. Should the seeding hold in the last quarter of the draw, Saina could play second seed Busanan Ongbamrunghphan (Thailand) for a place in the final.

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In men’s doubles, second seed Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy appear to have a clear passage to the final against the firm favourite, three-time World champion Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia).

The women’s doubles, where only eight out of 32 pairs are non-Indians, second seed Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy only have Russian third seed Anastasiia Akchurina and Olga Morozova to worry about on their way to the prospective title-clash against top seed Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai (Thailand).

In mixed doubles, 23 Indian pairs in the field of 32 do not offer much hope.

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