Changzhou, China: World champion P.V. Sindhu will look to continue her great work when she leads the Indian challenge at the China Open World Tour Super 1000 tournament beginning here on Tuesday.
Sindhu created history when she bagged India’s first gold medal at the world championship at Basel, Switzerland, last month. The World No. 5 achieved the feat after her third successive final appearance.
Sindhu last won the China Open in 2016 and would like to add another feather to her glittering cap. The 24-year-old from Hyderabad will start her campaign against China’s Li Xuerui, a former Olympic gold medallist and World No 1.
Saina Nehwal will also look to fire on all cylinders after recovering from injuries, which stymied had her year so far.
Saina will face Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the opening round and is expected to clash with former world No. 1 and her nemesis Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals.
India will miss Kidambi Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy, who are down with knee injury and dengue, respectively. But there is B. Sai Praneeth, who ended India’s 36-year wait to become the first Indian male shuttler to claim a medal at the World Championships.
The shuttler will open against Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon and is likely to face China’s third seed Shi Yu Qi in the second round.
The pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who became the first men’s pair from the country to win a super 500 event at Thailand Open last month, will also return and will open against Canadian combination of Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura.