After adding a historic Asian Games silver medal to her glittering medal collection, PV Sindhu would be keen to break the final jinx that has bothered her for a while at Japan Open, starting on Tuesday.
Sindhu has been outstanding this season with silver medals in all the major events this year – the Commonwealth Games, the World Championship and the Asian Games.
They are all medals to be cherished but a hectic schedule leaves her with very little time to do that. The questions of an elusive gold medal in these major events might bother the shuttler.
Heading into the Asian circuit events, which include China and Korea, Sindhu would look to put these questions to rest.
The third-seeded 23-year-old begins her campaign against Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi.
She is likely to face either three-time either world champion Carolina Marin or the formidable Akane Yamaguchi of Japan if she reaches the last-eight stage.
Saina Nehwal, who won a bronze medal at the Asiad, has pulled out of the event.
Among the men, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy will look to get over the disappointing campaigns in the World championship and the Asian Games.
Srikanth, a former world No 1, whose best finish this season has been a semi-final appearance at the Malaysia Open, will face China’s Huang Yuxiang in the opener. Prannoy will take on Jonathan Christie, the Indonesian who earned his country a maiden Asian Games gold in August.
Sameer Verma, who clinched the Hyderabad Open Super 100 tournament on Sunday, will look to continue his good run when he faces Korea’s Lee Dong Keun.
However, B Sai Praneeth, who won the Singapore Open last year, withdrew from the tournament.
In men’s doubles, Commonwealth Games silver-medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who also won at Hyderabad, will square off against third seeded Japanese duo of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda.
Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will meet Malaysia’s Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong.
CWG bronze-medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will take on the Korean pair of Chang Ye Na and Jung Kyung Eun in women’s doubles.
In mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy, who lost the finals at Hyderabad on Sunday, face third-seeded Indonesian pair of Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir.
Satwik and Ashwini, on the other hand, will hope to beat second-seeded Chinese pair of Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping.
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