2016 German Open: Can Srikanth & Kashyap gain momentum ahead of All England?
While a large part of the focus would remain on the All England Championships, starting on the 8th of Match in Birmingham, there is another competition, that should serve as some important match practice for several players.
The German Open kicks off in Mulheim an der Ruhr from the 1st of March with some big names featuring in it. Here’s a look at what to expect from the Grand Prix Gold event:
Men’s Singles: A chances for Srikanth and Kashyap to gain some impetus
Kidambi Srikanth will kickstart his campaign against Takuma Ueda of Japan, an opponent against whom he has won 3 out of the 4 times. The Indian's last appearance in a Grand Prix Gold event was in January when he won his maiden Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow, beating Huang Yuxiang of China 21-13 14-21 21-14 in the final. He would be looking for an encore when he takes to the court at the onset of March.
If Srikanth has got his 2016 off to a good start, the same can't be said about his statemate, Parupalli Kashyap. The 29-year-old hasn't had the ideal beginning to 2016, having reached the quarterfinals of Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold before withdrawing from the South Asian Games due to an abdominal strain.
He will be up against Artem Pochtarev of Russia, an opponent whom he has never faced before and so with a lack of match practice and an unpredictable opponent to counter, it could be a tricky start for him in the competition.
Ajay Jayaram will also be in the fray and he will take on Andre Kurn Tedjono of Indonesia. Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma will also be seen in action and they will be up against Andres Antonson and Dymtro Zavadsky respectively. HS Prannoy will have to wait to find out who faces once the qualification matches are completed.
Women’s Singles- Can Sindhu win her 2nd GPG of the year?
In the absence of Saian Nehwal, PV Sindhu has spearheaded the Women’s campaign for India in 2016. The 20-year-old began the year with an undefeated run of victories in the Premier Badminton League and then won her second Malaysian Grand Prix Gold title a week after the conclusion of the League.
After a slightly disappointing Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold, she, unexpectedly finished runners-up at the South Asian Games, losing the Gold medal match to Ruthvika Shivani Gadde. She will face off against Schafer Rong in the opening round.
Men’s Doubles- Can Attri-Reddy gain some momentum ahead of All England?
Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy are presently ranked 20th in the world and a good performance in the German Open should hopefully keep them in good stead ahead of Birmingham. They will start off against Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis in the opening round.
India will have no participation in the Women’s and Mixed Doubles category.