French Open badminton: P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal aim to return to winning ways

Paris: World champion P.V. Sindhu will aim to return to winning ways when she begins her women’s singles campaign at the USD 750,000 French Open badminton tournament, beginning here on Tuesday.

Despite bagging the World Championships title in August, Sindhu has been out-of-form as she has failed to cross the second round in three tournaments — China Open, Korea Open and Denmark Open.

In the China Open, Sindhu faltered in the second round before failing in the first round at the Korea Open in September. Sindhu again failed to put up a good show at the Denmark Open as she crashed out in the second round last week.

Sindhu, who made it to the semis in the 2017 edition of the French Open, will face Canada’s world number 9 Michelle Li in the opening round.

Saina Nehwal has also been struggling in the recent past: On the other hand, World number 8 Saina Nehwal has also been struggling in the recent past as she made three first-round exits in her past three tournaments.

Saina will be up against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi in the opening round and will also look to keep her dismal shows behind.

In the men’s singles, 2017 champion Kidambi Srikanth will open his campaign against second seed Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen.

Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, who reached the semi-finals at the India Open and the Korea Open, will take on Hong Kong’s NG Ka Long Angus. Sameer Verma, who had reached the semi-finals of the World Tour Finals last December, will meet Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in the opening round.

In the doubles, the women’s pair comprising Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy will be up against the fifth-seeded Korean duo of Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan.

In men’s doubles, the Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will take on the Dutch duo of Jelle Maas and Robin Tabeling.