Top Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth will look to shake off the disappointment of an early exit from the All England Championship when he competes at the Orleans Masters Super 100 tournament starting with the qualifiers in Paris on Tuesday.
Saina Nehwal, who had pulled out of the opening round in Birmingham due to a thigh injury, is recovering well but is expected take a call on her participation on Wednesday, reported PTI.
The $90,000 Super 100 tournament will offer valuable points for Olympic qualification and Srikanth and Saina will be eager to do well to gain some ground in the race to earn a Tokyo berth.
“Saina has made considerable progress since withdrawing from All England. She has started training on Saturday. She is slowly recovering but not yet 100%. But it is an important event for Olympic qualification, so we will take a call on Wednesday,” Indian physiotherapist C Kiran told PTI.
While top seed Srikanth has received a bye, fourth seed Nehwal is scheduled to open against Rachael Darragh from Ireland.
Srikanth, who lost to Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen in the first round in Birmingham, is likely to face fellow Indian Ajay Jayaram in the second round. Jayaram will open against compatriot Alap Mishra who has been promoted from qualifying.
Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, seeded fifth, has got a bye and is expected to meet France’s Toma Junior Popov in the second round.
Among others, seventh seed HS Prannoy also received a first round bye, while Kiran George will meet Netherland’s Mark Caljouw, who had reached the semifinals of the All England Championships.
Subhankar Dey, the 2018 SaarLorLux Open champion, will face Ditlev Jaeger Holm of Denmark.
Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, seeded eighth, will square off against Denmark’s Amalie Magelund and Freja Ravn, the pair that had defeated them in Swiss Open earlier this month. The Indian duo impressed at the All England with a win over Stoeva sisters from Bulgaria and are in desperate need for points to have a chance for Olympic qualification.
The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki will meet Serena Au Yeon and Dominik Stipsits from Austria, while Dhruv Kapila is pairing up with Ashwini in the absence of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, to take on Illiyan Stoynov and Hristomira Popovska from Bulgaria
Seventh-seeded Indian men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will meet the England pair of Matthew Clare and Ethan Van Leeuwen in the opening round.
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