P V Sindhu will look to continue her consistent run when she spearheads the Indian challenge at the Hong Kong World Tour Super 500 tournament beginning here on Tuesday.
Sindhu finished second best in the last edition after her gallant fight ended in agony against world no 1 Tai Tzu Ying and the Indian will have to once again bring her best to the fore to salvage any hopes of making the podium again in a tough field.
In a gruelling season, Sindhu managed to claim silver medals at the Commonwealth Games, World Championship and Asian Games. She also reached the finals at the India Open and Thailand Open.
At the rear-end of the season, the Indian will have to go full throttle if she has to reach the finals.
Sindhu begins her campaign against Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol and is likely to face China’s He Bingjiao in the quarterfinals, an opponent who has defeated her thrice this year.
Saina Nehwal, who claimed a second Commonwealth Games gold and a bronze at the Asian Games this season, will have a tough task at hand when she faces the formidable Akane Yamaguchi, the second seeded Japanese.
Saina will have to produce the kind of form that she displayed on way to the Denmark Open final last month. Interestingly, the Indian had beaten the Japanese in the second round at Odense.
In the men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth will face Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent in the opener and might face compatriot HS Prannoy in the second round if he crosses the opening hurdle.
Prannoy opens his campaign against Denmark’s Anders Antonsen, an opponent he had defeated at the Japan Open last year in their only meeting.
Also in action will be Sameer Verma, who won the Swiss Open and Hyderabad Open this season. The 24-year-old will take on Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon in the first round.
B Sai Praneeth, who won the Singapore Open last year, will also face a Thai player in Khosit Phetpradab in the opening round.
The men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who reached the semifinals at the French Open, will have to fight it out against former world no 1 and London Olympic silver medallist combination of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.
Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will take on Thailand pair of Bodin Isara and Maneepong Jongjit in the opener.
In women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will square off against the second seeded Japanese pair of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in the opening round.
Ashwini will also pair up with Satwik to take on Wang Chi-Lin and Lee Chia Hsin in mixed doubles.