From New York, USA, the Badminton Caravan will now move on to the beautiful city of Calgary in Canada where the fever of Racket and shuttle will be on for the next six days.Yonex Canada Open, where the prize money of $50,000 will be at stake is a Grand Prix category tournament and will be played from June 23rd to June 29th.
Indian shuttlers showed a decent performance in the recently concluded U.S Open Grand Prix Gold where one Indian pair lost in the finals and two others went down in the semifinal stage. Expectations will be a lot higher because most of the big names will remain absent from this tournament.
Let’s take a look at the preview of the Indian players category wise:-
Six Indian players will be in action in the men’s singles category of the tournament. B. Sai Praneeth, who performed exceptionally well in the U.S Open will once again look to repeat that kind of performance or even better in this Category 4 event of the Badminton.
Sai Praneeth, who is currently ranked 38th in the world has had a pretty decent 2015. Apart from winning the Srilanka International Challenge in the first week of June, he finished up as the Quarterfinalist in Syed Modi and Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold. The 22-year old Hyderabadi will kick-off his Canada Open campaign against the 225th ranked Alistair Casey of Scotland.
Ajay Jayaram, who is seeded 9th has not been in a good touch in the last few months. He lost in the third round of U.S Open and was shown the exit doors in the opening round of India Open Superseries. Jayaram, who is ranked 33rd in the world needs to be a lot more consistent with his performance if he wants to win this tournament.He will play the World No. 123 Taipei shuttler Shih Kuei Chun in the first round.
Another Indian player to watch out for in this category is the World No. 59 R.M.V Gurusaidutt. The 25-year-old has given some top ranked players the run for their money in recent times. He stretched the World No. 1 Chen long and World No. 9 Wan Ho Son to three games in the opening round of Australia Open and Singapore Open Superseries respectively.
So if he wants to reach anywhere near of winning this tournament then he needs to be consistent in the entire match, not just in one game. Gurusaidutt will take on the World No. 304 Shi Yuqi of China in the first round.
Remaining three Indian shuttlers in this category are Anand Pawar, Sourabh Verma and his younger brother Sameer Verma. Anand Pawar, who lost in the second round of U.S Open Grand Prix Gold will take on the qualifier in the first round. Ranked 44th, Pawar has failed so far to make any impact with his performance in last few months.
20-year old Sameer Verma will lock horns with the 12th seed and World No. 46 Cuban Osleni Guerrero whereas World No. 173 Sourabh will play the world ranked 62. Malaysian player Sattawat Pongnairat.
Chances of winning a title are very bleak in this category as both Tanvi Lad and P.C Thulasi are out of form in the last few tournaments. Ranked 124th in the world, Tanvi Lad has suffered a first-round exit in the last three Championships in which she has participated. Not much is expected from this 22-year old Maharashtra girl but if she wants to progress to the later stages of the tournament then she needs to get past few of the higher ranked shuttlers.
She will face the World ranked 51 American ace Jamie Subandhi in the opener.
Story of P.C Thulasi is more or less the same as she has also failed to enter the second round in her last three tournaments. Because of the poor performance, her ranking has gone down from 34 in February to 85 in June. She has a tough task in the opening round as she will play the World No. 23 and Indonesia Open Superseries finalist Yui Hashimoto of Japan.
Indian hopes in men’s doubles will rely on the young and extremely talented pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy. The duo, who caused a sensation in the badminton world by reaching the final of U.S Open last week are seeded 4th in the Canada Open. In their way to final, they stunned the 2nd and 4th seeded Japanese pairs.
Similar sort of performance would be expected from the World No. 15 Indian pair in this tournament as well.Their first match won’t be easy as they face the local and World ranked 35 pair of Adrian Liu and Derrick Ng. They are expected to meet the 5th seeded Chinese pair of Liu Yuchen and Li Junhui to whom they lost in the finals of U.S Open in the last eight of the tournament.
Two Indian pairs are participating in this category. 3rd seed and World No. 15 Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa, who lost in the final four of U.S Open have received a bye in the opening round. This former World Championships bronze medalist pair has seen quite a few ups and downs in the past few months.
They certainly have the experience, but they lack consistency. Their primary aim now is to qualify for the next year’s Olympic Games. The other pair in contention is that of N.Siki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre, who will face the pair of Daigenis Saturria and Polanco Munoz of Dominican Republic.