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PV Sindhu Returns From Injury As Indian Shuttlers Strive To Shine In Season-Opening Malaysia Open

Top Indian shuttlers, including HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen, will attempt to start the year on a positive note at the Malaysia Open starting on Tuesday.

PV Sindhu will face a tough test when she returns from a five-month injury layoff. With plenty of ranking points at stake, India’s star shuttlers will join other big stars like World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen, Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia, Akane Yamaguchi, and Tai Tzu Ying in aiming for a good show in the USD 1,250,000 Super 1000 tournament here.

This will be followed by a highly successful 2022 when India’s star shuttlers will hope to raise the bar even further in 2023.

Sindhu, a double Olympic medalist who is coming back from an ankle injury, begins her campaign against Carolina Marin, a former World Champion from Spain.

Sindhu last competed at the Commonwealth Games in August, so Marin, who has a better head-to-head record and has won the last three matches against the Indian, will be an interesting opponent.

Lakshya Sen is the only seeded Indian player in the men’s singles

Sen, the only seeded Indian player in the men’s singles, will take on compatriot and world number one Sen in a one-upmanship round. Eighth Prannoy in the first round.

The former world no. 1 Kidambi Srikanth will begin his campaign against Kenta Nishimoto, who is unseeded in Japan. If Srikanth wins, he will likely face the fifth seed, Jonatan Christie, in the same quarter as defending champion, Axelsen.

World No. 5 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who won the CWG title, the India Open, and the French Open in 2022, will face Choi Sol-Gyu and Kim Wan-ho of South Korea in the first round of the men’s doubles competition.

If they make it past the first round, seventh-seeded World Championships bronze medalists Satwik and Chirag will likely face home favorites Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik.

In the women’s singles, Saina Nehwal, Aakarshi Kashyap, and Malvika Bansod are also competing.
Saina will take on unseeded Han Yue of China, Aakarshi will play Hsu Wen-chi of Chinese Taipei, and Malvika will play second-seeded An Se-young of Korea.

In the first round of the women’s doubles competition, CWG bronze medalists Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand will face Hong Kong’s Yeung Nga Ting and Yeung Pui Lam, while Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam will face Supissara Paewsampran and Putita Supajirakul of Thailand.

In the first round, the Netherlands’ Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek will take on the Indian mixed doubles team of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto. APA APA PTI ATK

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