Indonesia Open 2017 preview: P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Sai Praneeth lead Indian contingent
The USD 100,000 Indonesian Open Super Series is all set to get underway on the 12th of June with the qualifiers at Bangkok. A host of players will be representing India in the seven-day event, across five categories. India’s title hopes rest primarily on the shoulders of Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and K. Srikanth, while Sai Praneeth will have all the pre-requisites to be the underdog.
The 2016 Olympic silver medallist, will be the odds-on favourite to win the tournament given the blistering form she has been in for the last year. Sindhu won the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold women’s singles title last year and also won the India Open Superseries title — the Yonex Sunrise India Open 2017 beating World No.2 Carolina Marin. The current world No.3 will kick off her campaign against Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong and could possibly face Carolina Marin in the semi-final stage.
World Number 11, Saina Nehwal is one of the favourites to win the Thailand Open. Having missed out on the Sudirman Cup to be with her ailing father, the 27-year-old will be itching to have a go at the title.The shuttler from Hyderabad will open her campaign against former world champion and 8th ranked Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
If Saina progresses in the tournament, World no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan would be a potential opponent in the quarter finals. However, former world number 1 and Olympic bronze medallist will be supremely confident, having won the Malaysia Masters earlier this year and will be expected to reach the quarter-final stage at least.
Sai Praneeth will look to cement his position in world badminton with a meteoric rise in world rankings as he moved nine places up after winning the men's singles title at the Thailand Open last month. It was a high point for 24-year-old Praneeth when he beat fellow Indian Srikanth Kidambi in the finals, becoming only the fourth Indian to win a Superseries title.
Praneeth, who is from Hyderabad, had another formidable display winning the Singapore Open Super Series as well. He will look to keep the winning run going, but will face a tough challenge when he takes on world No.2 Son Wan Ho of South Korea in the first round.
Srikanth reached his first Super Series final in Thailand since his India Open win two years ago but came up short in the final against fellow Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth. Climbing up a notch in world rankings, he is now ranked at number 14. The 24-year-old has a career-high ranking of number four but he had dropped to as low as 31 in March earlier this year. Srikanth will play his first match against Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent.
The tournament, which ends on 18th June, will feature a host of other Indians.
Men’s Singles – Ajay Jayaram, Sameer Verma, Prannoy H.S. (Q)
Men’s Doubles – Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (Q), Mannu Attri/Reddy B. Sumeeth
Women’s Doubles – Ashwini Ponnappa/ Reddy N. Sikki
Mixed Doubles – Reddy B. Sumeeth/Ashwini Ponnappa, Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Reddy N. Sikki