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Japan Open Badminton: Satwik-Chirag eye season's first Super 750 title

PV Sindhu and her new coach Hafiz Hashim will be under pressure not to bow out in the first round. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will spearhead India's challenge in Japan Open Super 750

Satwik-Chirag and HS Prannoy would speahead India's challenge at Japan Open Badminton 2023

Satwik-Chirag and HS Prannoy would speahead India's challenge at Japan Open Badminton 2023

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The men’s doubles sensations Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will headline India’s challenge at the Japan Open Super 750 after their Korea Open win on Sunday, July 23. Japan Open badminton tournament will start on Tuesday, July 25 at Tokyo’s Yoyogi Gymnasium. 

Satwik and Chirag will be up against the pairing of Indonesia’s Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin in the opening round. The Indian duo is seeded third in the competition. 

Another test for PV Sindhu and her new coach 

This will also be a test for PV Sindhu’s new coach Muhammad Hafiz Hashim. Start of the new coach has not been ideal as the former world champion and two-time Olympic medalist lost in the first round of the Korea Open. It was the first tournament of Hashim an All England champion himself with Sindhu. Hashim would have to channelise Sindhu’s energy to bring India’s leading lady back into the mix of top shuttlers. Sindhu is ranked 17 currently. 

Sindhu, 28 has crashed out in the first round of six of her 12 appearances on the World tour this year. In the Japan Open, she will be up against China’s Zhang Yi Man in the first round. Sindhu last met Man in the quarterfinal of the Malaysian Open, where she won the match. The head to head record bertween the 20th ranked Chinese and Sindhu stands at 2-2. 

Five Indians in the fray in Men’s Singles

In the men’s singles, all three ace shuttlers from the country- HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen will be in the fray on the first day. Along with them, upcoming talents- Mithun Manjunath and Priyanshu Rajawat will also vie in the Round of 32.
Prannoy, Sen and Rajawat have won one tournament each this season while Srikanth’s best finish has been quarterfinal entries to Indonesia Open, Malaysia Masters and Madrid Masters. Former world number one men's singles player Srikanth would be itching to get into the final of a major tournament and improve his chances of making it to the year-end World Tour Finals. 

At the World Tour Finals, only the top eight ranked players/pairing, based on their performances in the BWF World Tour events throughout the year, make the cut.  Currently, Sen and Prannoy are ranked fifth and 11th respectively in men’s singles while Srikanth is a distance 21st. Li Shi Feng of China leads the chart. 

While Sen will be up against Rajawat. Parannoy will be up against Shi Feng. If Parannoy beats the Chinese and Srikanth beats his Chinese Taipei opponent, Chou Tien Chen, both could meet in the second round. Manjunath will be up against another Chinese opponent Weng Hong Yang. 

Who are the other Indians participating at Japan Open 750?

Apart from Sindhu, Malavika Bansod and Aakarshi Kashyap will be the two other Indians in the women’s singles. M R Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will square up against fourth-seeded Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia in the men's doubles. In women's doubles, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand will spearhead India’s challenge while Rohan Kapoor and N Sikki Reddy ply their trade in mixed doubles. 

* With PTI inputs

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First Published: Jul 24 2023 | 7:25 PM IST

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