File photo of PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.(Getty Images)
File photo of PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.(Getty Images)

Olympic hopefuls Sindhu, Saina eye good outing on return to action in Thailand

While Olympic silver-medallist Sindhu has been training in London for the last two months and would be keen to quickly find her rhythm, Saina was down with COVID-19 and has recently recovered from the dreaded disease.
PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 11, 2021 06:11 PM IST

Nearly 10 months after COVID-19 disrupted the international calendar, star Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will return to competitive action in Yonex Thailand Open Super 1000 tournament starting on Tuesday, an event shorn of some sheen due to Japan and China's pullout from the Asia leg.

While Olympic silver-medallist Sindhu has been training in London for the last two months and would be keen to quickly find her rhythm, Saina was down with COVID-19 and has recently recovered from the dreaded disease.

She will look to test her fitness as badminton returns in a bio-secure bubble on Tuesday.

Sindhu and Saina didn't participate in Denmark Open Super 750 and SaarLorLux Super 100 -- the only two events which could be conducted after BWF was forced to suspend the calender at the end of the All England Championships in March.

The Asia leg also comprises Toyota Thailand Open (January 19-24) and HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020 (27-31 January), which will conclude the coronavirus-hit 2020 season.

One factor that will boost the chances of Indian shuttlers is the absence of the formidable Japanese and Chinese shuttlers who pulled out of the Asia legs.

While China had withdrawn after a surge of COVID-19 cases in Thailand, Japan pulled out at the last minute after world no.1 Kento Momota tested positive for COVID-19.

While it didn't affect world champion Sindhu as the sixth seeded will open against Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt, Saina, who was scheduled to face Japanese Nozomi Okuhara, will now take on unheralded Malaysian Kisona Selvaduray in the first round.

The 25-year-old Sindhu has a 3-0 record against Blichfeldt though it was a three-game affair the last time the two faced each other at Indonesia Open in 2019. A win is likely to pit Sindhu against another Danish player Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt, whom she has also beaten thrice.

It could be an all-Indian affair if Saina too can weave successive wins.

Saina, who has slipped to world no 20, is expected to meet Thailand's world no.12 Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who has beaten the Indian in their last three meetings.

In men's singles, a total of seven Indians, including former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, Olympic-bound B Sai Praneeth and H S Prannoy, will be participating in the event.

World No 14 Srikanth, who reached the quarterfinals at Denmark Open in October, will cross swords with fellow Indian Sourabh Verma in the opening round, while Praneeth, ranked 13th, will fight it out against local player Kantaphon Wangcharoen.

HS Prannoy will take on eighth seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, and former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, who was supposed to meet Japan's Kenta Nishimoto, will face Canada's Jason Anthony Ho-Shue now.

Sameer Verma faces Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.

The Indian men's pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who have also qualified for the Tokyo Games, will face the Korean combination of Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae in the first event, the women's pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will take on fourth seeded Koreans Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong.

Satwik and Ashwini will join hands to face Indonesian sixth seeds Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.

In men's doubles, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will square off against the local pair of Weeraphat Phakjarung and Wongsathorn Thongkham, while MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will fight it out with Malaysian combo of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.

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PV Sindhu in action. File(AFP)
PV Sindhu in action. File(AFP)

PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth lose openers at BWF World Tour Finals

By HT Correspondent, Bangkok
UPDATED ON JAN 27, 2021 10:39 PM IST
Against the same opponent, the world champion needed a similar all-out attack mentality from the start on Wednesday.
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Photo of Indian badminton player PV Sindhu(Twitter)
Photo of Indian badminton player PV Sindhu(Twitter)

Tough draw for Sindhu at World Tour Finals

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 11:35 PM IST
The only Indian to win the prestigious year-ending tournament back in 2018, Sindhu will open against the second-seeded Tai, who has a 12-5 record against the Indian, having won the last two contests between them.
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This handout from the Badminton Association of Thailand taken and released on January 19, 2021 shows India's Pusarla V. Sindhu hitting a shot against Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan during their women's singles first round match at the Toyota Thailand Open badminton tournament in Bangkok. (Photo by Handout / BADMINTON ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND / AFP) / -----EDITORS NOTE --- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / BADMINTON ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS(AFP)
This handout from the Badminton Association of Thailand taken and released on January 19, 2021 shows India's Pusarla V. Sindhu hitting a shot against Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan during their women's singles first round match at the Toyota Thailand Open badminton tournament in Bangkok. (Photo by Handout / BADMINTON ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND / AFP) / -----EDITORS NOTE --- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / BADMINTON ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS(AFP)

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PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 12:55 PM IST
Sindhu's comeback to international badminton after the coronavirus-induced break was not as good as she would have expected.
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File image of Kidambi Srikanth of India.(Getty Images)
File image of Kidambi Srikanth of India.(Getty Images)

Srikanth resumes training after BAI gets mandatory quarantine time reduced

PTI, Bangkok
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 07:20 PM IST
Srikanth withdrew from the tournament after B Sai Praneeth, who he was sharing a room with, had tested positive for COVID-19.
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File image of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.(File)
File image of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.(File)

Rankireddy hopes up after Thai Open doubles run

UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 07:55 AM IST
  • Either side of the Covid bout though Rankireddy ensured he trained regularly to keep fitness levels up. That was on show during the two Thailand Opens—where the Indian campaign ended on Saturday.
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Ashwini Satwik (Twitter)
Ashwini Satwik (Twitter)

Dream run of Indian doubles pairs end with semifinal defeat at Thailand Open

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:52 PM IST
Satwik and Ashwini, who spent most of the last year away from the court in two different cities and could only practice together for a few weeks, on Friday became the first Indian mixed doubles pair to reach the semifinals of a BWF World Tour Super 1000 event.
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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy(R) and Chirag Shetty. File(Getty Images)
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy(R) and Chirag Shetty. File(Getty Images)

Satwik-Chirag's impressive run ends with semifinal defeat at Thailand Open

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 02:18 PM IST
The Indian pair had participated in Super 1000 events in 2018 ad 2019 but this is the first time it entered the semifinals.
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Photo of Indian badminton player PV Sindhu(Twitter)
Photo of Indian badminton player PV Sindhu(Twitter)

PV Sindhu bows out of Thailand Open after losing to Ratchanok Intanon

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 06:33 PM IST
PV Sindu went down in straight games (13-21, 9-21 ) to the fourth seed in Thailand Open on Friday.
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Ashwini and Satwik (file)(Twitter)
Ashwini and Satwik (file)(Twitter)

Thailand Open: Satwik-Ashwini in mixed doubles semis, Sameer loses tough fight

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 05:23 PM IST
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Referee gives a red card to Ajay Chhetri of SC East Bengal during the Indian Super League match between Chennaiyin FC and SC East Bengal at GMC Stadium Bambolim in Goa(PTI)
Referee gives a red card to Ajay Chhetri of SC East Bengal during the Indian Super League match between Chennaiyin FC and SC East Bengal at GMC Stadium Bambolim in Goa(PTI)

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ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:19 PM IST
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File Photo of PV Sindhu(AP)
File Photo of PV Sindhu(AP)

Thailand Open: Sindhu cruises into quarterfinals after beating Kisona

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:13 PM IST
The Olympic silver medalist outclassed Kisona in the second-round clash to register an easy 21-10, 21-12 win in an encounter that lasted less than an hour.
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Photo of Indian shuttler Sameer Verma(Twitter)
Photo of Indian shuttler Sameer Verma(Twitter)

Thailand Open: Sameer, Satwik-Ponnappa sail into quarterfinals; Prannoy loses

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 03:23 PM IST
This was Sameer's third victory over Gemke. The Indian had defeated the world no 17 Danish shuttler in their previous two clashes.
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File image of Indian badminton player Sameer Verma(AP)
File image of Indian badminton player Sameer Verma(AP)

Sameer, mixed doubles pair of Satwik & Ponnappa into quarters of Thailand Open

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:21 AM IST
The mixed doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also sailed into the quarterfinals with a hard fought 22-20 14-21 21-16 win over the German duo of Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich in a match that lasted close to an hour.
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HS Prannoy in action. (Getty Images)
HS Prannoy in action. (Getty Images)

Prannoy gets back to winning ways after a tough year

By Sandip Sikdar, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 08:02 PM IST
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HS Prannoy in action. File(Getty Images)
HS Prannoy in action. File(Getty Images)

Prannoy upsets Christie in Thailand Open

PTI, Bangkok
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:08 PM IST
A former top-10 player, Prannoy recovered from a game down to outwit sixth seed Christie 18-21 21-16 23-21 in a thrilling contest that clocked an hour and 15 minutes.
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