Prannoy to lead India’s charge at Indonesia Super 1000

Jakarta:┬áIn-form HS Prannoy will be in the spotlight as India’s top shuttlers gear up for some tough opening round matches at the Indonesia Open, a BWF Super 1000 tournament, beginning here on Tuesday.

Prannoy, who claimed the Malaysia Masters Super 300 title last month, looks promising to go deep into the tournament, where the creme-de-la-creme of world badminton is set to compete this week.

The world number 8 Indian will be up against Kenta Nishimoto of Japan and a first round win is likely to pit him against China’s Shi Yuqi in the second round.

Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and 2021 world championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth will also look for impressive starts to their campaign, though they haven’t been in the best of form this season.

Sindhu made first round exits from the last two events, while Srikanth had a couple of quarterfinal finishes at Malaysia and Spain and they will have their task cut out against Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung and China’s Lu Guang Zu respectively in the opening round.

Lakshya Sen showed sparks of regaining some form when he reached the semifinals at Thailand Open. The 2021 world championships bronze medallist will open his campaign against world number 10 and eighth seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia.

Commonwealth Games champion and world number 5 men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will face nemesis Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia in the opening round.

Satwik and Chirag had claimed the Swiss Open title this season and will have to dig deep into their reservoir to get the better off the Indonesian pair, whom they have never beaten in 11 meetings.

MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila too will have a tough ask as they face eight seeds Malaysian pair of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi in the men’s doubles.

In another clash, former world number 1 Saina Nehwal is pitted against seven seeded Chinese Wang Zhi Yi.

Women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela will square off against Japan’s Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi in the opening round.

The BWF World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300.

One other category of tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 level, also offers ranking points.

The Super 1000 is a Grade 2 (level 2) event in the BWF tournament ranking system, offering highest points and prize pool.