Saina Nehwal resumes race to make her fourth straight Olympics in badminton


Reigning world champion P V Sindhu might be keen to return to the rostrum as former winner Saina Nehwal seems to regain her contact in the season-opening Swiss Open event starting on Tuesday.

Indian males’s singles gamers, too, have tasted success in this event with Sameer Verma, HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth rising victorious in 2018, 2016 and 2015 respectively and B Sai Praneeth ending runners-up in the final version.

All 4 might be trying to relive the moments and lengthen India’s good run on the USD 140,000 occasion which will even resume the prolonged Olympic qualifying interval.

It was right here at St. Jakobshalle venue that Olympic silver medallist Sindhu had claimed the world championship gold in 2019, her final title earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic disruption.

The 25-year-old from Hyderabad, seeded second, will look to go the space once more as she opens her marketing campaign towards Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit.

Sindhu didn’t have an excellent outing in the three occasions in Thailand lately however the street to the quarterfinal right here seems easy for the Indian the place she is probably going to confront fifth seed Thai Busanan Ongbamrungphan, an opponent she had overwhelmed on the Toyota Thailand Open in January.

Two-time former winner Saina, too, is in the identical half however the senior professional could have to overcome gamers like Korea’s sixth seed Sung Ji Hyun and fourth seeded Danish Mia Blichfeldt — whom she is probably going to meet — to arrange a semifinal face-off with Sindhu.

Former world primary Saina, who turns 31 this month, is on the fag finish of an illustrious profession, having slipped to 19 in the BWF rankings however she nonetheless has the starvation to make it to one other Olympics.

The London bronze medallist will hope to make a constructive begin when she opens towards Thailand’s Phittayaporn Chaiwan, a former world junior championships bronze medallist.

All eyes will even be on world quantity 10 males’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty after their semifinal end at Toyota Thailand Open.

The Indian pair, seeded second, would look to stretch its good run, particularly after a month-long coaching session underneath new doubles coach Mathias Boe of Denmark.

The Indian duo will face Scotland’s Christopher Grimley and Matthew Grimley in the opening spherical.

Expectations might be excessive from Satwik and Ashwini Ponnappa as effectively after their last-four end on the earlier occasion. But it is going to be an uphill climb for the duo because it faces second seeds Indonesians Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja first up.

In the lads’s singles, it is going to be an all-Indian present when Sameer takes on former world primary Kidambi Srikanth in the opening spherical.

While Sameer regarded good at Toyoya Thailand Open, Srikanth too appeared to have discovered his rhythm on the World Tour Finals in January.

It might be a battle of nerves as each have misplaced numerous matches from profitable positions in their profession.

Former world quantity eight HS Prannoy will open towards Mark Calijouw of the Netherlands, whereas Sourabh Verma takes on Switzerland’s Christian Kirchmayr.

Ajay Jayaram will meet Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin and Parupalli Kashyap will sq. off towards Spain’s Pablo Abian.

Olympic hopeful Praneeth, who was compelled to withdraw from the final occasion in Thailand after returning constructive for COVID-19, will hope to shine when he clashes with Israel’s Misha Zilberman.

Young Lakshya Sen, who missed the Thailand occasions due to an harm, too might be rearing to go when he opens towards Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk.

Among different Indians in the fray, Pranaav Jerry Chopra, who had examined constructive for COVID late final 12 months, might be again in motion after a protracted hiatus when he pairs up with N Sikki Reddy and takes on third seeded English pair of Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith in the combined doubles.

Young males’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila too will look to put up a present when the Indians face Russia’s seventh seeds Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov.

The Super 300 occasion might be essential for the Olympic hopefuls with the BWF extending the qualification interval for the Tokyo Games until June 15.


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