India’s double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu will look to iron out her flaws when she competes at the French Open Super 750 badminton tournament, starting in Paris on Tuesday. (More Badminton News)
Playing her first event in two months, Sindhu looked a bit sluggish at last week's Denmark Open, where she lost in the quarterfinals to fast-rising Korean An Seyoung. She had struggled past Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan to reach the last-eight stage.
Sindhu, the reigning world champion, didn't have any plan B against An, who didn't allow the Indian to play her attacking game. The 26-year-old from Hyderabad, who will open against Denmark's Julie Dawall Jakobsen this week, will need to get her aggressive self back and also strengthen her defense if she hopes to reach the podium.
She is likely to come across opponents like Denmark's Line Christophersen and Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan or Scotland's Kristy Gilmour in the next rounds.
London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, who was troubled by a groin injury at the Uber Cup Final but played at Denmark Open only to lose in the opening round, will hope to make a winning start when she opens against Japan's Sayaka Takahashi here.
In men's singles, all eyes will be on Sameer Verma after his stunning run last week. The 25-year-old from Madhya Pradesh stunned world number three Anders Antonsen in Odense before retiring from the quarterfinals against Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto due to a calf injury and he will need to be at the top of his game when he faces sixth-seeded Indonesian Jonatan Christie.
Kidambi Srikanth will get another chance to avenge his last week's loss when he faces world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the opening round. While Srikanth did put up a fight in the opening game, he ran out of steam in the second against Momota, who put up a solid display in the tournament to eventually reach the finals at Denmark.
In another match, in-form Lakhsya Sen will take on Tokyo-returned B Sai Praneeth in an all-Indian contest. Former top 10 player, H S Prannoy had a decent outing at Denmark and will have his task cut out against fourth-seeded Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, while Sourabh Verma too faces an uphill task against fifth-seeded Anthony Sinisuka Gingting.
Parupalli Kashyap, who had retired in the opening round last week due to a hamstring injury, will meet France's Brice Leverdez in the first round here.
In men's doubles, the world No.10 duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, seeded fifth, will square off against Chinese Taipei's Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan, while talented pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila face Ireland duo of Joshua Magee and Paul Reynolds.
Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will take on Korean combination of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baekcheol.
In the women's doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy open against top seeds Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan of Korea, while Meghana Jakkampudi and S Ram Poorvisha will cross swords with Netherlands' Alyssa Tirtosentono and Imke Van Der Aar.
Satwiksairaj and Ashwini will also pair up, taking on Denmark's Mathias Thyrri and Mai Surrow in mixed doubles opener.