Malaysia Masters 2020: PV Sindhu likely to clash with Tai Tzu Ying in quarters
2019 didn't prove to be a great year for the Indian badminton except for the time when PV Sindhu became India's first-ever World Badminton Champion. Saina Nehwal too won a single tournament at the beginning of 2019 and after that, she struggled to even cross the first or second rounds of the tournaments. But with Tokyo Olympics coming up in August this year, Indian players and their coaches should forget the past season and must start clinching the titles from the beginning of the year so as to prove to the rest of the world that Indian contingent is as strong as it was in 2016 Rio Olympics.
The 2020 badminton season will kick start with Malaysia Masters Super 500 event to be played in Kuala Lumpur between January 7 and January 12. P V Sindhu seeded sixth, is the only Indian to be seeded in the tournament. She will be starting her campaign against Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia in Round 1. She is likely to face former world number one and the top seed in the tournament Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals. On the other hand, Saina Nehwal will be starting her campaign against a qualifier and is likely to face South Korea's teenage star An Se Young in the quarterfinals.
In men's singles, as many as five Indians will be fancying their chances to win the coveted trophy. The best bet from India in men's singles will be 2019 World Championship's bronze medalist B Sai Praneeth. He will be starting his campaign against Rasmus Game of Denmark and is likely to face his arch-rival, Jonathan Christie of Indonesia, in the second round. Parupalli Kashyap will be facing world number one Kento Momota, on the other hand, Kidmabi Srikanth will be facing world number two Chou Tien Chen, in the opening round.
H S Prannoy who has completely recovered from injuries will be starting his campaign against Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan. Whereas Sameer Verma will open his campaign against youngster Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand. In men's doubles, the Indian duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will be starting their campaign against world number nineteen Malaysian duo of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi. They are likely to face eight-seeded Chinese duo of Han Cheng Kai and Zhou Hao Dong in the second round.
In mixed doubles, Indian players have the toughest draw as the duo of Pranav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will be facing world number one and top seed Zhen Si Wei and Huan Ya Qiong in the opening round, on the other hand, the duo of Satwiksairaj Renkyreddy and Ashwini Ponappa will be starting their campaign against the Chinese world number two and second seed in the tournament Wang Yi Lu and Huang Dongping. In the women's doubles, the best bet from India will be the combination of Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy.