PV Sindhu Looks To End 2019 Title Drought At Japan Open
PV Sindhu ended with a silver medal at the Indonesia Open as top honours continue to elude her 2019.
PV Sindhu will lead India's challenge at the Japan Open
PV Sindhu will be looking to end her 2019 title drought
Saina Nehwal returns after skipping the Indonesia Open 2019
PV Sindhu will look to quickly bounce back from her Indonesia Open final defeat to Akane Yamaguchi and end her 2019 title drought when she leads India's challenge at the Japan Open BWF World Tour Super 750 starting on Tuesday. Saina Nehwal, who had given the Indonesia Open Super 1000 event a miss, will also make a return to the court. PV Sindhu had looked in fine form in the Indonesia Open, getting past the likes of Nozomi Okuhara and Chen Yu Fei in the quarter-final and semi-final, respectively, without breaking a sweat. But the Indian star came a cropper when she went up against Akane Yamaguchi in the title clash, losing in straight games.
The loss was all the more disheartening for Sindhu as she missed a golden chance to end a seventh-month title drought. Sindhu will open her Japan Open campaign against China's Han Yue.
If she crosses the opening hurdle, Sindhu will face either Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour or Japan's Aya Ohori in the second round.
The fifth seed will also aim to avenge her final loss to Yamaguchi as she is likely to face the World No.4 Japanese in the quarter-finals.
"Overall, it was a good tournament for me at Indonesia and I hope I can take the confidence going forward and do well at Japan," Sindhu had said after the final on Sunday.
Saina Nehwal, seeded eighth and the only Indian to win a title this season, will begin her quest for another title against Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan, an opponent against whom she enjoys a 3-1 head-to-head lead.
In men's singles, it will be an all-Indian opening round battle between HS Prannoy and eighth seed Kidambi Srikanth.
The Indian duo has faced each other five times so far in the international circuit with Srikanth emerging victorious on the past four occasions.
Among other Indians in the fray, B Sai Praneeth, who had reached the final of the Swiss Open, will face Japan's Kenta Nishimoto.
Sameer Verma, who had missed the Indonesia Open due to a shoulder problem, will look to test his fitness against Denmark's Anders Antonsen, runner-up in Jakarta after a marathon final on Sunday.
In the doubles draw, the men's pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will square off against England's Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will take on Malaysia's Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin in another men's doubles match.
The women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will face the Korean combination of Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong in the opening round.
The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki will face an uphill task when they meet top-seeded Chinese combination of Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong, who claimed the Indonesia Open title on Sunday. Satwiksairaj and Ashwini will open against German pair of Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler in another mixed doubles match.
(With PTI inputs)