Indian male shuttlers were extremely disappointing in the last Superseries -- India Open -- as none of them got past the first round, while female shuttlers were much better, with Saina Nehwal reaching the semifinal of the competition. However, all the Indian shuttlers will be determined to deliver the goods in the upcoming Malaysia Open Superseries, starting Wednesday.
Saina might have lost in the semifinals to Li Xuerui during the India Open, but she did show some encouraging signs, especially her movement was much better in the competition. With Saina looking better, it is time for the star shuttler to shine, and win the Malaysia Open. It would be a huge morale booster for Saina to win the title, with just four months for the Olympics to begin.
However, it is not going to be easy for the player, who has been seeded third in the competition. She will open her account against Nitchaon Jindapol, and could run into Nozomi Okuhara in the quarterfinal.
Another India female player PV Sindhu also has her hands full, as she will face He Bingjiao in the first round, and will meet an even tougher opponent in the form of Sung Ji Hyun during the second round. Sindhu has always been a tremendous player, but as always, lacks consistency in big competitions.
In the men's competition, India will depend on Kidmabi Srikanth, who is India's highest ranked player in the circuit. Srikanth has been unimpressive in the last few competitions played so far. Srikanth is set to square off against Boonsak Ponsana, and if the India player gets past the Thai, he will meet Jan O Jorgensen, who is one of the best players, in the next round .
Besides Srikanth, India also have other shuttlers such as Ajay Jayaram and HS Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap, who will want to shine in Malaysia. Between the duo, Prannoy has a tough opponent, Kento Momata, who won the India Open as well. Jayaram will face Hu Yun.
There are two India doubles pair for the men's doubles. Manu Attri and B Sumeeth will face Vladmir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov in the first round while another pairing of P.Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar will meet third seed, Zhang Nan and Fu Haifeng in their first round.
Malaysia Open Superseries schedule
Male: Jan O Jorgensen, Lin Dan, Chen Long, Lee Chong Wei and Kento Momota
India: Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap
Female: Carolina Marin, Li Xuerui and Ratchanak Intanon
India: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu
Male: Chai Biao and Hong Wei, Kim Gi Jung and Korkim Sa Rang
India: Mannu Attri and B.Sumeeth Reddy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar
Female: Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii, Lyo Ying and Luo Yu,
Venue: Malawati Stadium, Shah Alam
1st Round –Wednesday
2nd Round – Thursday
Quarterfinals – Friday
Semifinals - Saturday
Final – Sunday
TV listings: India: Star Sports 2/HD (Thursday onwards).