Malaysia Open: India Counts On PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy & Saina Nehwal
HS Prannoy has had a fantastic year thus far, but PV Sindhu will have to get back on track. Saina Nehwal will come back after a break. India has great hopes for them.
When the Malaysia Open Super 750 competition gets underway on Tuesday, PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy will be leading the Indian charge.
PV Sindhu will want to immediately bounce back from her first-round elimination at Indonesia, whereas HS Prannoy will aim for another steady performance.
At the Indonesia Open Super 1000 earlier this month, China’s He Bing Jiao knocked off two-time Olympic medalist Sindhu in the first round.
She will have to move over that setback as she starts her campaign against a strong Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand.
While Sindhu leads the all-time series 5-3, Chochuwong has defeated the Indian three times in their past 5 meetings, making their upcoming match-up an exciting one.
Sindhu might compete against Chinese Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei if she can get through the first obstacle and maintain a steady pace.
Saina Nehwal, who won bronze at the London Olympics, is also featured in this part of the draw. She will face Iris Wang of the USA in the opening match.
If she triumphs, she would compete against former world champion and sixth-seeded Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.
Saina will try to outperform Wang, whom she defeated in 3 matches the first time the two of them faced off last year at Orleans Masters, after skipping the Indonesia round to manage her workload.
Since the world championships the previous year, Prannoy has been on a consistent season in men’s singles, making a number of quarterfinals.
He was a crucial part of India’s historic Thomas Cup victory and delivered some outstanding performances in Jakarta to get to the semifinals.
The 29-year-old was dejected after being expelled from Indonesia as a result of a string of careless mistakes.
Prannoy will face Malaysian player Daren Liew, who defeated him in the Thailand Open in May of this year. Prannoy is desperate to snap his five-year title drought.
B Sai Praneeth, a Tokyo Olympian, will compete against 6th-seeded Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, and Sameer Verma will compete against seventh-seeded Jonata Christie, another Indonesian.
Parupalli Kashyap, a former Commonwealth Games gold medalist who is now healthy again, will compete against Heo Kwang Hee of Korea in the first round.
The world number 8 duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty, who missed the last two competitions owing to fitness difficulties, will also be back in action. The pair will introduce Man Wei Chong & Kai Wun Tee from Malaysia.
The Netherlands’ Robin Tabeling & Selena Piek will compete against India’s Ashwini Ponnappa & B Sumeeth Reddy in the mixed doubles event.
Kim Won Ho & Jeong Na Eun of Korea will compete against Venkat Gaurav Prasad & Juhi Dewangan.