File image of Lakshya Sen© AFP
Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen will face teammate Kidambi Srikanth in the men’s singles opening round match of the French Open badminton tournament in Paris on Tuesday. Sen and Srikkanth, the top two Indians in world ranking at eighth and 11th respectively, will battle it out for the second time in their career. Sen was the best Indian on show at the recently-concluded Denmark Open but he had lost to Japan’s lowly ranked Kodai Naraoka in the quarterfinals.
In their earlier match-up, Srikkanth had defeated Sen in a tightly-fought contest en route to winning a historic silver at the 2021 World Championships.
The winner between the two Indians is likely to bump into the Danish world number two Anders Antonsen in the next round of the World Tour 750 event.
HS Prannoy, who has been the most consistent player in the recent past, has an easy first round outing against Daren Liew of Malaysia, against whom the Indian has a 7-4 head-to-head record.
World number 13 Prannoy was unlucky to run into Sen in the second round of Denmark Open. This time, he has potential big challengers in fifth seed Kento Momota and fourth seed Chou Tien Chen in the later rounds if he goes past the first hurdle.
Prannoy ended a seven-match losing streak against Japanese world number 9 Momota at the 2022 World Championships and he would look to continue his winning momentum.
Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will take on Yvonne Li of Germany in her women’s singles opening round. Saina defeated the German in their only meeting that happened in 2020.
Commonwealth Games gold medal winning men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are the only seeded (7th) Indians in the fray and they find themselves in the same quarter as top seed duo of Takuro Hoki and Yuo Kobayashi of Japan.
The other Indian doubles pair in the fray, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will take on fifth seed Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia.
Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand and Ishaan Bhatnagar-Tanisha Crasto are also be in the fray in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles respectively.
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