Top-ranked Indian shuttlers will be back in action following a brief break at the Malaysia Open — a World Tour Super 750 tournament, starting Tuesday, June 26 in Bukit Jalil.
PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, who had skipped India's Thomas and Uber Cup campaign, are heading into the tournament after a month-long hiatus.
Saina Nehwal, who has been showing glimpses of vintage self ever since winning Commonwealth Games gold earlier this year, will also be in action in the Malaysian city.
How to watch Malaysia Open 2018 badminton in India
Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD will provide live television coverage of the tournament from Friday, June 29.
The live stream will be available on Hotstar and Jio TV.
The three, who are expected to lead India's challenge, will be keen on starting well as they enter a busy stretch of top-tier tournaments in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand before the Asian Games, starting August 18 in Jakarta.
Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma along with men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are the other Indians in action in Bukit Jalil.
World number 13 HS Prannoy has skipped the ongoing tournament but he will be seen in action at Indonesia Open — a World Tour Super 1000 tournament.
Global TV listings
- Malaysia: Astro Arena, Astro Arena HD; Live stream: Astro Go
- China: CCTV 5+
Malaysia Open: Men's singles draw preview
World number seven Srikanth, seeded fourth, faces a tricky opening-round test against Jan O Jorgensen. The Dane ranked 54 in BWF charts, was out of action for the most part of last year with a recurring heel injury but is slowly getting back to his best.
Jorgensen, who had decent runs in European Championships and Thomas Cup, would want to put behind the disappointment of a first-round exit in the United States Open earlier this month and test Srikanth, who can be rusty after his long break.
Srikanth may face compatriot Sai Praneeth, who opens his campaign against Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei, in the second round.
Having been handed a relatively easier path to the quarter-final, the Guntur shuttler may face his first big test in the semi-final against second seed Son Wan Ho or in-form Japanese comeback man Kento Momota.
Axelsen handed tough draw
Meanwhile, world number one Viktor Axelsen headlines the top half of the draw, which is packed with big names. The Dane may face 11-time champion and local favourite Lee Chong Wei in the quarter-final.
Defending champion Lin Dan faces an uphill task as he is likely to face third compatriots Shi Yuqi (third seed) and Chen Long (fifth seed) in the second round and quarter-final match, respectively.
Predicted quarter-final line-ups
- Viktor Axelsen  vs Lee Chong Wei 
- Lin Dan vs Chen Long 
- Kidambi Srikanth  vs Jonathan Christie
- Ng Ka Long vs Kento Momota
Malaysia Open: Women's singles draw preview
Third seed Sindhu starts her campaign against Japan's Oyo Ahori. The world number three faces a tough challenge on her comeback from the brief rest period as she is likely to face sixth seed and arch-rival Carolina Marin in the quarter-final.
If Sindhu manages to get past the Spaniard, she is likely to face world number one Tai Tzu Ying in the semi-final.
Meanwhile, Nehwal will play her first-round match against Yip Pui Yin and faces an early hurdle in second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.
Predicted quarter-final line-ups
- Tai Tzu Ying  vs Sung Ji Hyun 
- PV Sindhu  vs Carolina Marin 
- Ratchanok Intanon  vs Chen Yufei 
- Akane Yamaguchi  vs He Bingjiao 
Key matches to watch out for on Wednesday, June 27
- Sai Praneeth loses to Tzu Wei Wang 21-12, 21-7
- Kidambi Srikanth vs Jan O Jorgensen - Not before 6 pm local time, 3:30 pm IST
- PV Sindhu vs Aya Ohori - Not before 3:15 pm local time, 12:45 pm IST