Srikanth retires; Sindhu, Saina's eye title at the China Open
FUZHOU: Kidambi Srikanth has decided to miss the China Open, but the best Indian shuttles PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal their homework will be cut when they start their campaign at the USD 700,000 event, which begins on Tuesday.
Former world number one Srikanth faced the current world championship twice and number one qualified for Kento Momota of Japan in his first round, but withdrew from the tournament.
Srikanth will now perform at the Hong Kong Open World Tour Super 500, next week.
Sindhu and Saina will again be the best bet in India, as they seek to offer a good show this week.
All eyes will also be on the pair of men's doubles Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty , who had reached the final at the French Open last month.
Both Sindhu & Saina had made early exits in three successive tournaments at China, Korea & Denmark before somewhat regaining form with a quarterfinal finish at the French Open & the duo will be desperate to go deep in the draw.
The sixth head of the Sindhu series, who claimed the gold of the World Championship in August, will begin his campaign against the German Yvonne Li, while the eighth head of the Saina series will open against the Chinese Cai Yan.
It is likely that Sindhu will face three-time world champion Carolina Marin or world number one Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals if he passes the initial rounds.
Saina, on the other hand, could find Japan's second seed Akane Yamaguchi in the last eight, but he has to beat his opponents in the first two rounds.
The BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament will also feature a large number of Indian ferries competing for honors this week.
B Sai Praneeth, who had won a bronze in the World Championship, will face Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia.
Sameer Verma will face Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong, while HS Prannoy, who recently recovered from a dengue attack, faces Rasmus Gemke of Denmark.
Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap , who had reached the semifinals at India Open & Korea Open, will face Thailand's Sitthikom Thammasin in the opening round.
In doubles, Satwik & Chirag will look to continue their good run as they open against Korean combination of Kim Gi Jung & Lee Yong Dae.
Manu Attri & B Sumeeth Reddy will face Malaysian pairing of Aaron Chia & Soh Wooi Yik in the first round.
Pair of female doubles Ashwini Ponnappa & N Sikki Reddy will meet China's Li Wen Mei & Zheng Yu, while Satwik & Ashwini will take on Canadian pair of Joshua Hurlburt-Yu & Josephine Wu in the mixed doubles.
Another mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra & Sikki will face off against Chinese Taipei's Wang Chi-Lin & Cheng Chi Ya.