Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are looking to extend their winning streak after winning the Korea Open, but attention will be on struggling PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy when the Japan Open Super 750 badminton competition gets off on Tuesday.
Satwik-Chirag, the Indian doubles team who won the 2022 Commonwealth Games, surprised the world No. 1 team of Fajar Alfian and Muhamad Rian Ardianto in a tough final of Korea Open on Sunday. The unsteady form of Sindhu has been the main discussion point in the Indian badminton circuit. Following her injury rehab, the two-time Olympic medalist and previous world champion has been a ghost of her former self, dropping to world No. 17 after first-round elimination in six of the 12 BWF World Tour tournaments this year.
Despite her immense talent, Sindhu has been grappling with errors and finding it challenging to close out points, even against lower-ranked opponents. To improve her performance against rivals, she must focus on refining her fast and aggressive playing style.
This time, Zhang Yi Man, whom Sindhu defeated in the Malaysian Open quarterfinals on her way to reaching the semi-finals in May, will stand in her way in the first round.
The top-ranked player in India, HS Prannoy, who claimed his first BWF World Tour championship at the Malaysia Masters in May, fell two positions to tenth. Prannoy, who suffered a defeat in the second round of the Korea Open last week, is matched up against Li Shi Feng of China.
If Prannoy and Srikanth both successfully navigate through their opening round challenges, they will meet each other in the quarterfinals, and one of them could potentially face their most formidable test yet against the number one seed, Viktor Axelsen.
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