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HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen To Lead Indian Charge At China Masters Super 750


File photo of HS Pranoy© AFP

Indian aviators, including recovery man HS Prannoy, will be hoping for a good show at the China Masters – the final BWF Super 750 event of the season – starting on Tuesday, in pursuit of valuable ranking points in the race to the Paris Olympics . Prannoy, who lost in the second round at the Japan Open Super 500 after returning to action following a back injury, will once again be the top Indian name among men in the tournament. He will face Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen, who defeated him in the last meeting in Japan. The world No. 17 Lakshya Sen and the world No. 23 Kidambi Srikanth, who is fighting to be within the top 16 by April 28 next year to qualify for the Olympics, is also in action.

After a first-round exit last week after losing to Japan’s world championship silver medalist Kodai Naroaka, Sen will be hoping for a better outing when he faces seventh seed Shi Yuqi of China.

With just four quarter-final finishes in the season, Srikanth didn’t exactly look the part and was often guilty of falling into an error pool. The former world No.1 skipped the Masters in Japan last week and will face Thai fourth seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn, the reigning world champion.

On the other hand, Priyanshu Rajawat will meet Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in his opener.

The top men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who are riding high on the success of an unprecedented year in which they bagged a gold medal at the Asian Games, will also aim for a fruitful outing.

Satwik and Chirag, who were left out in the first round last week, will be hoping to face English pair Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in their opening match.

In the women’s doubles, Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly withdrew and the Panda sisters — Rutaparna and Swetaparna — will be in the fray.

Aakarshi Kashyap is the only Indian competing in women’s singles, facing China’s Zhang Yi Man.

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