Badminton, German Open Super 300: Lakshya Sen, 2022 finalist, set to lead Indian challengeMarch 7, 2023
Lakshya Sen will be looking for a deep run as a significantly smaller Indian contingent will be in action when BWF World Tour action resumes after a break, with the European swing. The German Open Super 300 event starting on Tuesday in Mulheim an der Ruhr acts a precursor for the All England Open starting next week.
Former world No 1s Srikanth Kidambi and Saina Nehwal are among those who withdrew from the event with the final draws published on Monday.
There are no representatives from India in men’s doubles and women’s doubles. In mixed doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sumeeth Reddy are the sole Indian entries.
The main attention will be on men’s singles with newly-crowned National Champion Mithun Manjunath joining Sen in the main draw. Last year’s junior World Championships silver medallist Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian is in the men’s singles qualification stage and will need two wins to reach the main draw.
Sen, last year’s runner-up, will start his campaign against France’s Christo Popov in the opening round. Sen has a 4-1 head-to-head record against Popov. The Indian, seeded sixth, could run into top seed for the event, Malaysian Lee Zii Jia in the quarterfinals. But Sen did get the better of last year’s top seed, Viktor Axelsen, in the 2022 edition semifinal before losing to Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the title clash.
Manjunath, who defeated Priyanshu Rajawat in the nationals for his title, will start off with a tough test against fourth seed Loh Kean Yew.
In women’s singles, Malvika Bansod is the solitary Indian contender. She faces a tough test against fifth seed Wang Zhi Yi of China. It’s the first meeting between the two.
In mixed doubles, Ponnappa and Reddy begin with a contest against world No 25 team of Adam Hall and Julie Macpherson from Scotland.
MS (qualification): Kiran George
MS: Srikanth Kidambi, Anders Antonsen
WS: Saina Nehwal, Ratchanok Intanon, Nozomi Okuhara