Kowloon (Hong Kong): Rio Olympics silver medalist PV Sindhu in the absence of Kidambi Srikanth, will once again lead India’s challenge in the $400,000 Hong Kong Open Super Series, starting on Tuesday. It has been a hectic yet hugely successful year for the 22-year-old from Hyderabad, who became the first Indian to win the Korea Open, apart from also winning the silver in the World Championships.
Exhaustion will however be a big factor when the Indian shuttler take the court, competing in her fifth successive tournament. Playing at the China Open, she suffered a shock defeat in the quarter-finals against a young Chinese ranked 89. Sindhu looked sluggish and was slow on the movements, failing to keep pace with the energetic Gao Fangjie, as the continuous travel and back to back events took a toll on the world no. 2.
Sindhu however will hope to recover quickly from the defeat and put her best foot forward as she aims for a third Super Series title in the ongoing year.
The 2016 Padma Shri awardee well face Japanese Akane Yamaguchi in the quarter-finals, if both them manages to cross the first two rounds. The world no. 5 has been in top form Thai seasona and just clinched the China Open last week, her third final in as many tournaments.
French Open champion Kidambi Srikanth, who just last month become the first Indian to win four Super Series titles in a single year will give give the tournament a miss after failing to fully recover from the muscle strain, he suffered at the National Championships. He also missed the China Open owing to the injury.
National champion and world no. 11 Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy will however be once seen in action after faltering at the China Open. While Prannoy will face an experienced Hu Yun of Hong Kong in the opening round, Saina will face Denmark’s Mette Poulsen in the women’s singles event.
Indonesian champion B Sai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap however return to the fold after staying away from the recently concluded China Open, with the former taking on second seed Korean Son Wan Ho in the opening round.
Meanwhile, Kashyap will face Chinese Taipei’s Kan Chao Yu in the qualifier, while Sourabh Verma will take on Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto.
Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will meet China’s Huang Dongping and Li Wenmei in the women’s doubles.