After a disappointing show at last week's Malaysia Open Superseries Premier, Indian shuttlers will be hoping for a much better show at the $350,000 Singapore Superseries to be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from April 11-16.
However, her path is not at all smooth. The India Open champion kicks things off against the former All England Championships winner Nozomi Okuhara. The Japanese is on the comeback trail from a shoulder injury but did reach the semi-finals in Malaysia last week. If the Pullela Gopichand protege can come up with the performance she showed at the India Open, she can definitely make it through to the quarter-finals where she could possibly face the fourth seed Carolina Marin.
Sindhu beat the Spaniard convincingly en route to the title in Delhi. That said, the Olympic champion, who is looking to find her way back to the top after niggling injuries, did back up her India Open show with a runner-up finish in Malaysia. In the final, she gave a tough fight to the current World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, eventually going down in three gruelling games.
If tiredness doesn’t creep into her game, Marin can be quite a challenge for she is growing in confidence with every match.
After the Marin hurdle, the second-seeded Sung Ji Hyun and the top seed and in-form Tai Tzu Ying could face Sindhu in the semi-finals and final respectively.
Nehwal opts out, needs more training
Former champion Saina Nehwal, meanwhile, will not be in action this week as she needs more training. The London Olympic bronze medallist will next be seen at the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan at the end of this month.
Other than Sindhu, the reigning national champion Rituparna Das too is in the women’s singles draw and she begins her challenge against the World No. 26 Hsu Ya Ching of Chinese Taipei.
Srikanth back in action
In men’s singles, former India No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi is back this week after opting out of the Malaysia Open last week. Srikanth faces a qualifier in the opening round and could run into the fifth seed and All England Championships winner Shi Yuqi in the quarter-finals. The Chinese faces Ajay Jayaram in his first round.
Sameer Verma, meanwhile, meets the World No. 14 Hu Yun whom he upset at the India Open two weeks ago. Sai Praneeth will lock horns with the Danish World No. 40 Emil Holst, who has replaced the top seed, Chen Long.
Sourabh Verma is the only Indian in the men’s singles qualifiers. The third seed will be taking on the 51st ranked Misha Zilberman of Israel.
In men’s doubles, the Indian pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy has a tough opening game against the third seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda. The 41st ranked women’s doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy takes on Malaysians Yin Loo Lim and Yap Cheng Wen.Published 10 Apr 2017, 22:17 IST