Sydney : Newly-crowned Indonesia Open champion Kidambi Srikanth and title-holder Saina Nehwal will have their task cut out when they lead the Indian challenge at the Australia Super Series starting with the qualifiers.
With back-to-back finals, Srikanth is in sizzling form and he will start favourite when he starts his campaign against a qualifier on Wednesday. “The Australian Open is the last tournament before the World Championship and I am looking forward to it. Indonesia Open is a big confidence-booster for me ahead and I would give my 100 per cent here. I hope there is a lot more to come,” Srikanth said.
H S Prannoy has been a revelation in Jakarta when he emerged as a world beater, displaying tremendous grit during his sensational wins over Olympic silver-medallist Lee Chong Wei and Rio gold-winner Chen Long.
For London bronze-medallist Saina and Rio silver-winner P V Sindhu, a tough challenge awaits as they lock horns with the finalists of Indonesia Open — Korean Sung Ji Hyun (Runners-up) and Japanese Sayaka Sato (Winner) in their opening round.
All eyes will also be on B Sai Praneeth, who had clinched his maiden Super Series title at the Singapore Open in April. The 24-year-old, who bowed out in the opening round at Indonesia, will face Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto in first round. Among others, Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold winner Sameer Verma will face Chinese Taipei’s Tzu Wei Wang and Ajay Jayaram will fight it out against seventh seeded Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong.
In men’s doubles, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will square off against Japanese third seed Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda. The young pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will face Hong Kong combo of Law Cheuk Him and Lee Chun Hei Reginald.