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PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy lead India’s challenge at Singapore Open | Badminton News – Times of India


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SINGAPORE: Indian shuttlers, led by two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and in-form HS Prannoy, will look to hit top gear in the Singapore Open Super 500 Tournament beginning on Tuesday.
Being the last tournament before the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, starting later this month, the duo cannot afford to take it easy.
Sindhu (3) and Kidambi Srikanth (7), who are the only seeded Indians in the main draw of the men’s and women’s singles competition, have been handed easy draws.
World No. 7 Sindhu, who will open her campaign against lowly-ranked Lianne Tan of Belgium, is the only seeded player in her quarter.
Sindhu may run into seventh seeded Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the last eight, against whom she boasts of a 17-1 head-to-head.
The Indian ace should have it easy till the semifinal where she could once again face nemesis Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying, who has beaten Sindhu six times in a row recently to take her overall head to head to 16-5.
Veteran shuttler Saina Nehwal will begin her campaign against compatriot Malvika Bansod and the winner of the clash could possibly face 2018 Asian Games silver medallist He Bing Jiao and former world champion Intanon Ratchanok in the second round and quarterfinals respectively.
Making a comeback after the Indonesia Open last month, Srikanth also has an easy draw after the pullout of world No. 1 and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.
Srikanth opens his campaign against a qualifier and in the quarterfinal he may run into fellow Indian and 2017 champion B Sai Praneeth.
Should he overcome Praneeth, Srikanth could play the semifinal against third seeded Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, who is coming off a runners-up finish in the Indonesia Masters.
All eyes in the men’s singles would be on Prannoy who has been in good form this year. With two semifinal finishes in the past month — Malaysia Masters and Indonesia Open — he would be eager to go one step further.
Placed in the second quarter of the draw, Prannoy opens his campaign against Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin in the first round.
He finds himself in the same half as third seed Chou and fifth seed Jonatan Christie, who takes on Parupalli Kashyap in the opening round.
There will also be Sameer Verma who will take on China’s unseeded Li Shi Feng in the first round.
The men’s doubles event will lack some sheen after the pullout of the Indian duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy with the latter recovering from an injury.
In the two’s absence, India’s campaign will be spearheaded by Krishna Prasad Garaga-Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala and Dhruv Kapila-MR Arjun.
Garaga and Panjala will face local duo Terry Hee Yong Kai and Loh Kean Hean in the opening round, while Kapila and Arjun will take on Germany’s Jones Jansen and Jan Volker.
In women’s doubles, Pooja Dandu and Arathi Sara will face a qualifier in the first round.
The other Indian duo of Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker will take on second seed Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand in their opening round.
The mixed doubles will pit the two Indian pairs Nithin HV-Poorvisha Ram and Venkat Gaurav Prasad-Juhi Dewangan against each other in the opening round.

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