Satwik-Chirag look to regain competitive edge as Thailand Open begins

05:11 PM May 13, 2024 | PTI |

Bangkok: Star shuttlers Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will look to regain their competitive edge as they spearhead the Indian challenge at the Thailand Open Super 500 tournament, beginning here on Tuesday.


The top seeded Indian pair, who are one of the favourites to win a gold at the Paris Olympics, found it a tad difficult to negotiate the variety of serves dished out by the Indonesians and Chinese at the Thomas Cup.

Both shuttlers will look to address the slight drop in their level this week when they begin their campaign against Malaysia’s Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub Azriyn and Tan Wee Kiong.

With the Olympic-bound shuttlers looking to fine-tune their skills ahead of the Paris Games, the BWF world tour events will offer the perfect platform for them to test those new strokes or tweaks that they make to their games.

India’s top player in singles, HS Prannoy, a world championships and Asian Games bronze medallist, too will have to find his best footing after being troubled by health issues this season.


His win over Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting was a confidence booster but the loss against China’s Shi Yuqi will trouble him as he needs to close out such narrow games to get into the best mental shape ahead of the Olympics.

Kiran George and Sathish Kumar Karunakaran are also in fray, while Lakshya Sen and PV Sindhu had pulled out before the draw was announced last week.

While Kiran will face China’s Australia Open winner Weng Hong Yang, Sathish, who had claimed the Odisha Masters title last December, takes on a qualifier in their respective opening matches.

In Sindhu’s absence, Ashmita Chaliha, Malvika Bansod and Aakarshi Kashyap will look to keep India’s flag fluttering with a solid show in women’s singles.

The Guwahati shuttler will be squaring off against Indonesia’s Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo, while Malvika faces top seed Chinese Han Yue and Aakarshi is pitted against Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand.

Young Unnati Hooda and Imad Farooqui Samiya will also hope to produce a good show when they take on Belgium’s Lianne Tan and China’s Goa Fang Jie.

In women’s doubles, fourth seeded Indian pair of Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa, who has qualified for the Paris games, will also be in the fray but will begin campaign in second round after receiving a bye.


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