After a lacklustre show in the Yonex Thailand Open last week, the Indian contingent will hope to do better in the Toyota Thailand Open that begins on Tuesday. None of the Indian shuttlers went past the second round last week.
While, ace shuttler P V Sindhu crashed out in the first round after losing to Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt, Saina Nehwal ran out of steam against Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the second round.
#ToyotaThailandOpen will start from tomorrow. 11 shuttlers will be action.
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Barring Kidambi Srikanth, it was the first tournament for the whole Indian contingent in nearly 10 months.
The Indians seemed to struggle with their fitness with former World No 1 Srikanth and 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap forced to withdraw or retire after suffering calf muscle pulls.
Among others, World No 13 B Sai Praneeth looked a mismatch against Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen.
On Tuesday, World champion Sindhu will be up against Thailand’s World No 12 Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who knocked Saina Nehwal out of the tournament last week.
Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal will be up against fourth seed and home favourite Ratchanok Intanon in the opening round. Saina, who is currently World No 20, has a 11-5 head-to-head record against Inthanon, a former World Champion.
Srikanth and Kashyap also in action on Day 1
In the men’s singles, Praneeth will need to find his rhythm when he takes on Daren Liew of Malaysia, while World No 14 Srikanth faces Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin, an opponent he has beaten twice in the past.
Kashyap, who had retired in the decider against Jason Anthony Ho-Shue of Canada last week, will face Denmark’s world no 17 Rasmus Gemke.
HS Prannoy will look to put behind last week’s first-round loss when he takes on the formidable Indonesian Jonatan Christie, who is seeded sixth.