With the Superseries season coming to a brief halt, Indian shuttlers have now turned their attention to the Grand Prix events in the North American swing. Indonesia Open semi-finalist HS Prannoy and Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap lead the charge at the $65,000 Yonex Canada Open that gets underway on June 11 at Calgary.
However, the defending champion B Sai Praneeth has given this event a miss after the hectic last couple of months where he won the Singapore Open and Thailand Open.
Prannoy is seeded second and takes on Mexico’s World No. 165 Job Castillo in his opener. His path looks relatively smooth and there is a chance of an all-Indian final with Kashyap being in the other half.
Kashyap, in fact, is not the only Indian in the crowded top half which also features Lakhanee Sarang, Harsheel Dani and Guatemala Futures winner Karan Rajan.
Kashyap is seeded 16th and starts off his challenge against the unheralded Daniel La Torre Regal. He has to tackle the sixth seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan, a player ranked 37th after reaching quarter-finals at the Swiss Open and the China Masters.
The semi-finals present an uphill task for Kashyap as the top seed Lee Hyun II looms large.
The only other Indian in the draw is the rising star Abhishek Yelegar, who is placed in the bottom half of the draw along with Prannoy.
Sameer Verma is absent as he could not get a visa on time.
5 rising Indian stars feature in women’s singles
The women’s singles draw is dotted with talented emerging stars, all of whom have the capability to make an impact. National champion Rituparna Das, South Asian Games gold medallist Ruthvika Shivani Gadde along with Reshma Karthik, Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli and Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka will all be vying for the title.
Ruthvika has the toughest draw amongst the lot as she is up against the second seed and World No. 18 Japanese Aya Ohori after kicking off her campaign against South Korea’s World No. 96 Ga Eun Kim.
Attri and Reddy will look to defend their crown
The men’s doubles challenge is led by the third seeds and defending champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy and the World No. 50 pair of Tarun Kona and Alwin Francis.
Attri and Reddy have been struggling since that crown and will be hoping to get back some form at this tournament.
Kona and Francis received their Canadian visa at the last minute on Monday which allowed them to play at this event.
In women’s doubles, Kuhoo Garg and Ningshi Block Hazarika face the top seeds Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva. Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram are, meanwhile, seeded eighth.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will look to get back to winning ways and are seeded second in mixed doubles. Kona and Jakkampudi form the other Indian team in this section.Published 11 Jul 2017, 22:38 IST