PV Sindhu will face a tough test on her return from a five-month injury lay-off as top India shuttlers will aim to start the year on a positive note at the Malaysia Open which begins on Tuesday.
Following a highly-successful 2022, India’s star shuttlers will hope to raise the bar further in 2023, during which the Paris Olympic qualification period will start in May.
With plenty of ranking points at stake, the Indians will join other big stars such as World No.1 Viktor Axelsen, Lee Zii Jia, Akane Yamugachi, Sindhu’s nemesis Tai Tzu Ying as they aim for a good show in the Super 1000 tournament here.
Double Olympic medallist Sindhu, who is returning from an ankle injury, begins her campaign against former world champion Carolina Marin of Spain who boasts of a 9-5 head-to-head record between the two. Sindhu last played at the Commonwealth Games in August.
In the men’s singles, world No.10 LakshyaSen, the only seeded Indian player, will engage in a round of one-upmanship against compatriot and world No.8 HS Prannoy in the opening round.
In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty who broke into the top five of world rankings in December, will cross swords with South Korea’s Choi Sol-Gyu and Kim Wan-ho in the first round.
The seventh-seeded duo, who won the CWG title, India Open and French Open in 2022, intend to make it to world’s top three this year. Saina Nehwal is also in fray in women’s singles.
Written with inputs from PTI