Badminton

Korea Super Series: With Saina, Srikanth absent PV Sindhu leads India’s challenge in Seoul

Sindhu will look to continue her good form after winning silver at the Worlds.

Fresh from the silver medal at the BWF World Championship in Glasgow, silver medallist P V Sindhu will look to continue her good form as she leads Indian challenge at Korea Super Series, starting on Tuesday.

The Indian contingent, however, is weakened a bit by the absence of Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth are giving the event a miss.

Fifth seed Sindhu, who bettered her two World Championship bronze medals with a maiden silver at Glasgow last month, will be the key player in the absence of Saina and Srikanth, who decided to skip the event and prepare for next week’s Japan Open.

At the SK Handball Stadium in Seoul, Sindhu will open her campaign against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi in women’s singles competition.

Prannoy back in the reckoning

In men’s singles, US Open Grand Prix Gold champion H S Prannoy, who had defeated Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long at Indonesia Open, will face sixth seeded Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong in the opening round.

“I have played him (Angus) a few times in the past, had some tough matches. He is a tricky player, he is a mix of defence and attack and sometimes plays something out of the box, pushing to all corners, so have to move well. Let’s see how the conditions are in Korea,” Prannoy told PTI.

Playing his first event after winning the US Open in July, Prannoy said it would be a new start for him even though he has gained a lot of confidence from the last victory.

“It has been more than a month since I won the US Open so I can’t say the win matters much when you are playing after a long gap, if it were after a week then you know how you are playing but after a month it becomes new conditions and starting anew,” he added.

Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth will face Hong Kong’s Hu Yun, an opponent against whom the Indian has a 2-2 head-to-head record. The Hyderabadi had beaten Yun at the Thomas & Uber Cup Finals last year.

Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold winner Sameer Verma will face Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, while his elder brother Sourabh Verma will take on a qualifier.

In mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will face a tough competitor in fourth seeded Indonesian combo of Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto.

Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki will meet eighth seeded Thai pair of Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in women’s doubles.

Men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will square off against a qualifying team in the opening round.

In the qualifying round on Tuesday, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will face Korean Jong Woo Choi and Hui Tae Kim in men’s doubles.

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