PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen Look To Regain Lost Touch In Canada Open
Former world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu has hit a rough patch after returning from an injury
Star Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen will look to find their mojo and gain valuable ranking points in the ongoing Olympic qualification cycle when they begin their campaign at the Canada Open World Tour Super 500 tournament in Calgary on Tuesday. Former world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu has hit a rough patch after returning from an injury. The former world No. 2 slipped to 12 in the BWF women's singles rankings and she will have to make up for the lost time in the Paris Olympics qualification cycle (May 1-April 28, 2024).
The 27-year-old, who sustained a stress fracture en route to winning her maiden Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham last year, is still fighting to regain full fitness.
She was part of India's bronze medal win at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships at Doha in February but has missed a few World Tour events this year.
Her best this year has been a sliver at the Madrid Masters Super 300 event in April and since then she has made first round exits in two tournaments, while in another, she lost in the second round.
Sindhu finds herself in a relatively easy draw here, facing local challenger Talia NG in the opening round.
Eighth seeded Japan's Nozomi Okahara, against whom Sindhu has a 9-8 win-loss record, is likely to be the Indian's quarterfinal challenger, should they overcome their respective first and second round hurdles.
Sindhu is in the half of top-seeded Akane Yamaguchi.
The Japanese defeated Sindhu in the Singapore Open last month, but the Indian still holds a 14-10 win-loss advantage over Yamaguchi.
Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen too has slipped out of top-10 with a slew of first round exits this year.
The 19-ranked Sen has suffered first-round exits in four events with his best performance being the Indonesia Masters in January where he reached the quarter-finals.
Sen is battling to regain form after he underwent a nose surgery for a deviated septum after the World Championships last August. The surgery was followed by frequent illness and allergies for over eight months, he said.
"Recovery was not really good. Whenever I was into training, I was getting injured or sick. Then I had to take a step back for a bit, because for the first two months, I didn't' have any idea that it could be this serious. I made a lot of changes in my foot, and also in the training load," he told BWF.
Unlike Sindhu, Sen has a tough road ahead as he is up against second seeded Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the opening round. The Thai shuttler is a World Championship silver medallist in Tokyo last year and a three-time junior world champion.
In the men's doubles, the Indian challenge will be led by Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Panjala, who open their campaign against Julien Maio and William Villeger of France.
The Indian duo had suffered a first round exit in the Taipei Open Super 300 event last month.
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