Lakshya Sen and PV Sindhu are the seeded players from India as badminton returns to Jakarta’s iconic Istora Senayan after more more than two years with the Indonesia Masters Super 500 starting on Tuesday.
After the highs of Bangkok in mid-May where he sent India on their way to the Thomas Cup triumph with the opening win against Indonesia, Lakshya will start as the only seeded Indian men’s singles player. Srikanth Kidambi and HS Prannoy are not part of the event, with the latter originally entered to play but replaced with a qualifier in the final draw.
Lakshya, seeded seventh, will take on Denmark’s veteran Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus. The top-ranked Indian has a 0-2 head-to-head record against Vittinghus, who will pose a tough challenge.
The 20-year-old would be keen to better his record against the Danish shuttler, with both their previous meetings coming in 2020.
In the women’s singles draw, Indian hopes will once again rest on Sindhu. She has had impressive results on the BWF World Tour events so far this year, making deep runs in most events. After missing out at the India Open at the start of the year, she went on to win the Syed Modi and Swiss Open – both Super 300 events. She made a semifinal exit at the Thailand Open, and could potentially face her victor from that day – Ratchanok Intanon – in the quarterfinals here.
Double Olympic medallist Sindhu will begin with a clash against Line Christophersen of Denmark.
Saina Nehwal, who has some incredible memories at the Istora, was part of the draw originally too but is absent from the main list.
Aakarshi Kashyap and Subhankar Dey are in the qualification draws for the singles events.
In the men’s doubles, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will take Indonesia’s Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambita, in what will be a tough opener.
In men’s singles, India’s Sameer Verma will begin his campaign against a qualifier.
In women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponappa is in the main draw with N Sikki Reddy, who has been out of action for a while due to an injury. Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker are the second Indian pair in the main draw.
Tanisha Crasto, who was mighty impressive at the Uber Cup recently for India, is in the mixed doubles main draw along with her regular partner Ishaan Bhatnagar. But they face a tough task against local favourites Jordan/Oktavianti in the opener.
Ashwini is in the mixed doubles qualification draw with Sumeeth Reddy.
Significant absentees from original draw:
Parupalli Kashyap, HS Prannoy, Carolina Marin, Saina Nehwal, Kim So Yeong - Kong Hee Yong,