ICC World Cup

World champion PV Sindhu looks to maintain dominance in China Open test

PV Sindhu will be back in action later this week in Changzhou for the prestigious China Open Super 1000 tournament as she will bid to prepare for fresher challenges in the lead up to Tokyo Olympics 2020.

PV Sindhu could not have asked for a bigger tournament to reignite the hunger that drove her to world championships glory in Basel a couple of weeks ago. The Super 1000 tournament in China is among the biggest and presents one of the toughest challenges on the circuit.

Sindhu won her maiden Superseries title at China Open right after her silver medal-winning campaign at Rio Olympics in 2016. Having missed out on the podium in 2017 and 2018, the Indian shuttler will be keen on getting another major title in the lead up to the biggest showpiece event in 2020.

PV Sindhu has, it is safe to say, found ways to deal with the burden of expectations. Inevitably, she steps up in major tournaments and the gold medal at Basel World Championships proves she is ready for the big mental battles as well.

However, Sindhu herself has acknowledged the need to stay afresh and find newer ways of tackling challenges that come her way in the lead up to next year’s Olympics, which will certainly prove to be the biggest test of her celebrated yet nascent career.

“Now I have to really work harder and change a few things and come with new things because everyone can see my game and know what I am playing. So I have to go with a new strategy every time I go into the court,” Sindhu had said earlier this month.

PV Sindhu will be heading into China Open as one of the firm favourites. It will be interesting to see if the young shuttler can live up to the billing, considering the time she has spent on receiving the reception that came her way after the historic world championships gold medal.

Tricky opening-round test for PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu, who has been seeded 5th in the women’s singles category, will open her China Open campaign against former Olympic champion Li Xuerui. It will be a tricky test for Sindhu, who will be looking to shake off rustiness, if any, in the opener on Wednesday.

Li Xuerui, who is making a comeback at the highest level, has shown glimpses of vintage self and will be keen on making an impact in front of her home crowd. Notably, Sindhu needed 3 games as she had come back from behind to beat Xeurui when the 2 shuttlers met at Indonesia Masters earlier this year.

If Sindhu manages to get past the opening hurdle, she has an easy run at least until the quarter-final wherein she may meet 3rd seed Chen Yufei of China.

An all-Indian semi-final between Sindhu and her senior compatriot Saina Nehwal is a possibility but Saina may face world number 2 Tai Tzu Ying in the quarter-final if overcomes the initial tests in China.

Meanwhile, with Kidambi Srikanth pulling out of China Open with an injury, World Championships 2019 bronze medallist Sai Praneeth will be looking to build on the good in the upcoming tournament. The unseeded Indian shuttler, who has been drawn in the second half, is likely to face an early test against 3rd seed Shi Yuqi of China.

Unseeded Parupalli Kashyap is also in the fray and he opens his China Open campaign against France’s Brice Leverdez.

Satwiksairaj and Chirag return after injury concerns

In the doubles categories, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be returning to action after they missed the world championships with injury concerns. The young Indian duo, which created history by winning the Thailand Open earlier this year, takes on Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura.

Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, meanwhile, begin their campaign against 2nd seeds, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.

Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy are the only representatives from India in the women’s doubles category. In the mixed doubles category, Satwiksairaj and Ashwini will open their campaign against 6th seeds Praveen Jordan and Melati Oktavianti of Indonesia.

Sikki and Pranaav Jerry Chopra, meanwhile face Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich of Germany in their China Open opener.

Also See:

Article source: https://www.indiatoday.in/sports/badminton/story/pv-sindhu-china-open-2019-badminton-preview-saina-nehwal-satwik-chirag-changzhou-1599859-2019-09-16?utm_source=rss

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