The focus of Indian badminton would shift to the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (SCEC) where the Yonex Australia Badminton Open Grand Prix Gold Championship commences on Tuesday.
Five Indians – Ajay Jayaram, RMV Gurusaidutt, Anand Pawar, Chetan Anand and Arvind Bhat would be spearheading the country’s challenge in the men’s singles category.
Three Indians are also seeded in the event. Jayaram is seeded ninth, Gurusaidutt is seeded eleventh while Pawar is seeded fourteenth.
Jayaram – the highest seeded Indian in the tournament – and ranked 30 in the world, should have it easy against Malaysia’s world number 140 Kwong Beng Chan in the opening round.
World number 36 Gurusaidutt could expect an even contest with another Malaysian, Misbun Ramdan Mohmed Misbun, ranked 65 in the world, in the first round.
World number 44 Pawar, son of former India player Uday Pawar, is expected to have a smooth ride against Indonesia’s world number 173 Arif Ramadhan in round one.
Old warhorse Anand, who once broke the top-15 (reached a career high of 14), will clash with another Indonesian Riyanto Subagja, ranked 78 in the world in the first round.
However, Bhat, ranked 99th in the world, who once scaled a career high ranking of 22, has a real battle on his hands when he runs into top seed and world number one Chong Wei Lee of Malaysia in the first round.
Jayaram would be keen to put up a decent showing in the Yonex Australia Badminton Open. The Indian hasn’t had a great 2013 so far and was shown the door in the first round of the All England Open Badminton Championships by China’s Zhengming Wang.
He did make it to the third round of the Yonex German Open where he went down to Indonesia’s eight seed Tommy Sugiarto. The Mumbai boy had a disappointing run in the Maybank Malaysian Open when he went down tamely to Darren Liew of Malaysia.
Gurusaidutt on the other hand reached the second round, where he lost to second seed Kenichi Tago of Japan. He went out first round of both the Yonex German Open and All England Badminton Championships.
Anand had a superb run at the Yonex German Open where he entered the quarterfinals and lost to second seed Boonsak Poosana of Thailand. En route to the quarterfinals, Anand scalped sixth seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the second round.
He however, suffered a first round defeat at the hands of Rajiv Ouseph of England in the All England Badminton Championships in a tough three-game affair.
In the women’s singles catgory, Sarada Jasti is the lone Indian in the fray. The 145th ranked Indian takes on Japan’s world number 44 Yui Hashimoto in round one.