All eyes on Kidambi Srikanth as French Open begins

October 24, 2017

Dubai Super Series Finals


Newly-crowned Denmark Open champion Kidambi Srikanth will look to carry on his fine form into the French Open this week when he spearheads the Indian challenge at the Super Series tournament, starting in Paris on Tuesday.

25-year-old Srikanth has been in sensational form this season as he became the first Indian shuttler to reach four Super Series finals in a year, clinching three titles to surpass Saina Nehwal, who had claimed three crowns in 2010.

Srikanth, who decimated Korean veteran Lee Hyun II in a lop-sided final last evening at Odense, will open his campaign against England’s Rajiv Ouseph, who had reached the quarterfinals at Denmark Open last week.

The man from Guntur might face Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent, who he had beaten in the semifinals at Odense, in the second round here.

Olympic and World Championship silver medallist PV Sindhu, who had bowed out in the opening round of Denmark Open last week after losing to World No 10 Chen Yufei, will square off against Spain’s Beatriz Corrales in the opening round.

The Indian might face off again with Chen in the quarters.

London Games bronze medallist Saina, who had defeated Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the opening round at Denmark, will face a tough test when she faces Kristy Gilmour of Scotland, whom the Indian had beaten in the World Championship.

Among others in men’s singles, B Sai Praneeth, who had lost in the opening round last week, will look to make amends when he faces Thailand’s Khosil Phetpradab in the first round and is likely to face former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the second round.

H S Prannoy, who had beaten Chong Wei to reach the quarters at Odense, will start his campaign against Denmark finalist Lee Hyun and would look to continue his consistent run.

Parupalli Kashyap, who failed to make the main draw last week, will face Fabian Roth in the qualifying round tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Ajay Jayaram, Verma brothers — Sourabh and Sameer — have all withdrawn due to fitness issues.

Men’s doubles pair of Manu Atri and B Sumeeth Reddy and young combo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will also look to put best foot forward after opening round defeats.

Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy had put up a gallant effort before losing in the first round at Odense and they too will hope for a good result this week.

Mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki, who lost in the opening round after being in the receiving end of a series of service fault calls, will also look for a better result this week.

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