Indian men’s singles players were handed a tough draw with Kidambi Srikanth, Lakshya Sen, and HS Prannoy — all clubbed together in the same quarter at the Yonex Sunrise India Open badminton tournament, scheduled to be held in New Delhi from January 17 to 22. Former world champion and double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu will face her last edition’s nemesis Supanida Katethong in the opening round of the BWF World Tour event, which has been upgraded to the Super 750 category this year. Reigning champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will, meanwhile, begin their men’s doubles campaign against Denmark’s Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede, ranked no. 31 in the world.

The fifth-seeded duo would target a potential quarterfinal clash against top seeds Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan, in what would be the first major hurdle in their title defence.

The trio of Srikanth, Prannoy, and Sen will carry India’s hopes in the tournament but given the draw, only one can cross the last eight hurdle, which includes reigning World and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen, China’s Shi Yu Qi and Japan’s Kento Momota.

Defending champion Sen will begin his campaign against compatriot Prannoy and the winner of the match is likely to run into Momota, who is looking to return in 2023 after struggling for form this year.

Former champion Srikanth has to overcome the challenge of top seed Axelsen in the opening round with a potential clash against Shi, who has made a strong comeback after being out of action for almost 10 months.

Read more: https://sports.ndtv.com/badminton/india-open-kidami-srikanth-lakshya-sen-hs-prannoy-clubbed-in-quarter-of-death-3650407

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