World Champion PV Sindhu will look to shake off her indifferent form and regain touch when she competes at the USD 775,000 Denmark Open from Tuesday.
After claiming the World title in August, PV Sindhu endured surprise first and second round exits at the China Open and Korea Open last month, respectively.
World number six Sindhu, who has not won a title in the BWF World Tour this season, will take on Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the first round of the World Tour Super 750 tournament.
PV Sindhu enjoys a 5-0 head-to-head record against the world number 16.
Another stiff test awaits struggling Saina
World No 8 Saina Nehwal, on the other hand, has been going through a tough phase with fitness issues hindering her progress since claiming the Indonesia Masters in January.
The London Olympic bronze medallist, who was diagnosed with agastroenteritis problem in March, made first-round exits at China and Korea and she aim to get deep into the draw.
A finalist at the last edition, Saina, seeded 8th, is up against World No 12 from Japan Sayaka Takahashi, who had defeated the Indian the last time they meet at the Thailand Open in August.
Kidambi Srikanth faces tough early hurdle
Former champion Kidambi Srikanth, who had skipped the events in China and Korea due to a knee issue, too will be eagar to make a positive start but he will have to get past Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in the opening round.
While Srikanth had beaten Antonsen at the 2017 World Championships, the Danish shuttler has come a long way since then, having reached the finals of the World Championships at Switzerland.
Currently ranked fourth, Antonsen has won the Indonesia Masters, Barcelona Spain Masters, European Games and made it to the finals at Indonesia Open Super 1000 this year.
World Championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth will be up against the legendary Lin Dan, who had entered the finals at Thailand Masters in January and won the Malaysia Open in April but have looked off-colour since then.
Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap has been in decent form this year. He reached the semifinals at India Open before making it to the last four at Korea Open. The 33-year-old will open against Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin.
Returning to action after recovering from dengue will be H S Prannoy, who faces an uphill task against eighth seeded Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the opening match.
Among other Indians in action, Thailand Open winners Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will square off against Korea’s Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae in the men’s doubles first round.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will face top seeds Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara of Japan in women’s doubles.
Men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will meet England’s Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge in the opening round.
Mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki will open against Germany’s Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler, while Satwik and Ashwini will take on second seeds Chinese Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping.
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