Thomas and Uber Cup 2018: Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy to spearhead India’s challenge
World No.8 H.S Prannoy and World No.10 Saina Nehwal will lead India’s charge at the upcoming edition of the BWF Thomas and Uber Cup to be played from May 20-27, in Bangkok, Thailand.
The tournament which is in its 27th year of existence will see the Asian championship bronze medalist Prannoy along with World No.18 B Sai Praneeth, young and talented Sameer Verma and Junior World No.4 Lakshay Sen taking the court in the singles event of the men’s championship, while 2018 CWG Gold medalist Saina will be complemented by rising shuttlers Vaishnavi Jakka Reddy (World Ranking 64/ Junior World Ranking 5), Sai Krishna Priya (World Ranking 66), India No.1 Anura Prabhu and India No.2 Vaishnavi Bhale in the singles competition of the Uber Cup. Anura is incidentally the first player from Goa to have ever achieved number ranking on the BAI ranking charts.
The experienced duo of Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri along with World No 43, Shlok Ramachandran, MR Arjuna and the Indian number 1 ranked pair of Sanyam Shukla and Arun George will be responsible to drive India in the doubles category of the Thomas Cup.
J Meghana, Poorvisha Ram, Prajakta Sawant and Sanyogita Ghorpade will lead the challenge in the women’s doubles competition of Uber Cup.
“We have decided to give opportunity to young and aspiring talents along with our experienced players so that they not only gain valuable exposure they will also have the experience to play alongside the top players. While selecting the squad, we have considered the performance of the players at the domestic level and those who have excelled in the national circuit have been given the opportunity to show their talent at the highest level,” Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, President of Badminton Association of India said.
“This is the first time Badminton Association of India has chosen to go into the tournament with mix of experienced players and upcoming talents and this has been done keeping in mind the need to promote the next generation of players and ensure due opportunities come their way,” Mr Ajay Singhania, Secretary General of BAI said.
The continental tournament that gets underway in Bangkok from May 20-27 will see India taking on France in the opening rubber, followed by Australia and China in the Thomas Cup while the women’s team, who are bronze medal winners in the last edition, will take on Canada in the first tie followed by Australia and Japan.