French Open: PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma eye successful outing

Sindhu looked sluggish in her first event in two months at last week's Denmark Open, where she lost in the quarterfinals to fast-rising Korean An Seyoung.

Indian shuttler PV Sindhu at the Tokyo Olympics. (Image: Twitter)

PV Sindhu, India’s double Olympic medalist, will compete in the French Open Super 750 badminton tournament, which begins on Tuesday in Paris. Sindhu looked sluggish in her first event in two months at last week’s Denmark Open, where she lost in the quarterfinals to fast-rising Korean An Seyoung. She had fought her way past Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan to the final eight.

Sindhu, the reigning world champion, had no backup plan against An, who refused to let the Indian play her attacking game. The 26-year-old from Hyderabad, who will face Denmark’s Julie Dewall Jakobsen in the first round this week, will need to regain her aggressiveness as well as strengthen her defence if she is to reach the podium. In the following rounds, she is likely to face Denmark’s Line Christophersen, Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan, or Scotland’s Kristy Gilmour.

Saina Nehwal, who was sidelined by a groin injury at the Uber Cup Final but competed at the Denmark Open only to lose in the first round, will look to get off to a winning start when she takes on Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi.


Following his stunning run last week, Sameer Verma will be the focus in the men’s singles. The 25-year-old from Madhya Pradesh stunned world number three Anders Antonsen in Odense before retiring from the quarterfinals against Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto due to a calf injury, and he will need to be at his best when he faces Indonesia’s sixth-seeded Jonatan Christie.

Kidambi Srikanth will have another opportunity to avenge his loss last week when he faces world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the first round. While Srikanth fought hard in the first game, he ran out of steam in the second against Momota, who had a strong tournament and eventually reached the finals in Denmark.


In another match, in-form Lakhsya Sen will compete against Tokyo-returned B Sai Praneeth in an all-India match. HS Prannoy, a former top-ten player, had a good outing in Denmark and will face fourth-seeded Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, while Sourabh Verma will face fifth-seeded Anthony Sinisuka Gingting.

Parupalli Kashyap, who retired in the first round due to a hamstring injury last week, will face France’s Brice Leverdez in the first round here.

In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, seeded fifth, will face Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan, while MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will face Ireland’s Joshua Magee and Paul Reynolds.

Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will compete against the Korean duo of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baekcheol.

In the women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will face top seeds Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan of Korea, while Meghana Jakkampudi and S Ram Poorvisha will face Alyssa Tirtosentono and Imke Van Der Aar of the Netherlands.

Satwiksairaj and Ashwini will also compete in the mixed doubles opener, taking on Denmark’s Mathias Thyrri and Mai Surrow.

Sportslumo Desk

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