PV Sindhu the centre of attention as Japan Open Superseries badminton begins
PV Sindhu will be looking to build on her winning momentum while Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal return to action in the Japan Open Superseries badminton tournament beginning with the qualifying draw in Tokyo on Tuesdayother sports Updated: Sep 18, 2017 15:45 IST
Newly-crowned Korea Open champion P V Sindhu will take aim at a third Superseries title this season even as Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal return to action at the $ 325,000 Japan Open badminton tournament, which starts with the qualifiers in Tokyo on Tuesday.
PV Sindhu, who had dropped the second game before defeating Minatsu Mitani last week in the Korea Open, will once again take on the Japanese in the opening round this week.
The 22-year-old avenged her World Championship heart-break, by beating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a pulsating summit clash of Korea Open on Sunday to claim her second super series title of the season.
Sindhu could meet world champion Okuhara for the third straight tournament if she can get past Mitani and the Japanese does the same against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi in their respective openers.
World No. 8 Srikanth, who clinched the Indonesia Superseries premier and Australia Superseries, will face a tricky customer in China’s World No 10 Tian Houwei in the opening round.
Srikanth, who had also reached the final at Singapore Open, has lost six times to Houwei in their seven meetings and five of those matches have gone into the decider.
Glasgow World Championship bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, who had a slight thigh strain, will return to action with a clash with Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong, an opponent she had defeated in the final of the Malaysia Masters early this year.
Unseeded Saina might clash with two-time former world champion and reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the second round if the Spaniard beats China’s Chen Xiaoxin.
Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap will look to continue his battle to get back to the top when he plays the qualifiers against Denmark’s Emil Holst.
In the main draw of men’s singles, HS Prannoy, B Sai Praneeth and Verma brothers -- Sameer and Sourabh -- will also look to put their best foot forward.
US Open champion Prannoy will face Denmark’s Anders Antonsen, while Praneeth and Sameer will square off against qualifiers but Sourabh will have the arduous task of taking on the legendary Lin Dan in the opening round.
Mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will meet fifth seeded Thai pair of Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the opening round, while Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki will try to overcome Korean third seeded combo of Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee.
In the qualifying round, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will face Malaysian combo of Jian Yi Lee and Zhen Ting Lim, while Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who had reached their maiden Super Series quarterfinals at Korea last week, take on the local pair of Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Hiroyuki Saeki in men’s doubles.