Barcelona Spain Masters 2019: Parupalli Kashyap, Sourabh Verma lead Indian challenge
Three-time national champion Sourabh Verma and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap will lead the Indian challenge at the Barcelona Spain Masters 2019, which is slated to begin from 19 February and will run till 24 February 2019.
Verma became the national champion for the third time when he beat the 17-year-old Asian junior champion Lakshya Sen at the 2019 Nationals final held in Guwahati on 16th February. The 26-year-old was previously crowned the national champion in 2011 and 2017.
Sourabh Verma has won two Super 100 tournaments -- the Dutch Open and Russian Open in 2018 after coming back from a shoulder injury. 17-year-old Lakshya Sen, who lost to Verma in the Nationals final, will also be a part of the Spain Masters tournament. However, he will have to play a qualifying match to get into the main draw. SaarLorLux Open champion Subhankar Dey is also a part of the main draw and will play a qualifier in the first round.
Parupalli Kashyap comes into the tournament after losing to Lakshya Sen in the National Championship semi-finals. The former world number six will begin his Spain Masters campaign against Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki Vincent. Another Indian shuttler, Ajay Jayaram will play his first round match against the 22-year-old Malaysian Cheam June Wei.
Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok, who are the men's doubles silver medallists of the National Championship, are going to take on the eighth-seeded Korean pair of Kim Won Ho and Seo Seung Jae in the first round. In another match, Krishna Prasad Ganga and Dhruv Kapila will face French pair of Christo Popov and Toma Junior Popov.
India will be represented in the women’s doubles draw by the solitary pair of Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh while the mixed doubles pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan have withdrawn.