Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and other top Indian players will begin their campaign in the main draw of the Asia Badminton Championships in Dubai today.
The prestigious continental competition started on Tuesday with the qualifying rounds, followed by the main draw which features the top players.
Despite the challenges faced with rhythm and form this season, Indian players like Sindhu, Prannoy and Lakshya will aim to break the title drought and secure a medal for their country. India has won 17 medals at ABC, with Dinesh Khanna winning the lone gold medal in 1965.
Sindhu, who is making a comeback after a long injury layoff, reached the finals at the Madrid Spain Masters and will be hoping to display her talents when she faces Taiwanese Wen Chi-hsu.
HS Prannoy, ranked ninth in the world, will be looking to start strong against Phone Pyae Naing of Myanmar, while Kidambi Srikanth, the 2021 world championships silver medallist, will face off against Bahrain’s Adnan Ebrahim in men’s singles.
Former world number 6 Lakshya Sen has had a difficult season, with his ranking dropping after a series of early exits, but he will be hoping to make a statement against former world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore.
In women’s singles, Malvika Bansod will have a tough challenge against top seed and last year’s finalist Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, while Aakarshi Kashyap faces Indonesian player Komang Ayu Cahya Dewi.
In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the sixth-seeded pair who won the Swiss Open super 300 title earlier this year, will begin against the Malaysian combination of Tan Kian Meng and Tan Wee Kiong. Other Indian pairs in the fray include MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, and Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala.
The women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, Commonwealth Games bronze medallists, will be facing Indonesia’s Lanny Tria Mayasari and Ribka Sugiarto, while Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam, and Haritha Manazhiyil and Ashna Roy will also be participating.