The Yonex French Open begins today and it signals the obvious fact that the 2017 Badminton season is far from over. It has been quite good so far for Indian shuttlers. The biggest influx of positive news perhaps came in the past few months with World Championships and two Indian medallists at the elite tournament. PV Sindhu then went on to overturn her World Championship final loss in the Korea Open. The doubles scene was not ignored either as the pair of N Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra reached the semis of the Japan Open much to the excitement of sports enthusiasts back home. And then, of course, came the pinnacle of success in the career of one Srikanth Kidambi who won his third Superseries title of 2017 a week back.
Needless to say, for the average Indian fan, the laurels amassed in Badminton remain unparalleled. Perhaps, no other sport has managed to make a mark as much as Badminton has. And the good news is, there is plenty of action yet to come.
The Yonex French Open begins today and the stalwarts of Indian badminton are geared up to once again create waves within the sporting circuit. The main draws include 9 matches featuring Indians. HS Prannoy has already won his first match against Denmark Open finalist Lee Hyun-il to progress to the next round.
Women’s Doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N.Sikki Reddy begin against the English duo of Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams, The news is not so great for the Mixed Doubles pair who are set to take on fourth seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia. It is certainly an uphill task for them as they will fight to ensure they do not face an early exit in the first round itself. A closer look at the coordination between Pranaav and Sikki Reddy would suffice to conclude that it is not impossible for them to make it big in this tournament.
Saina Nehwal, silver medallist in 2012 will face the 34th ranked Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark in the first round. If things go well in that game, she will have tougher encounters in the subsequent games. She might end up facing Akane Yamaguchi in the next round. Here, it is important to note that Yamaguchi is fresh out of winning a silver at the recently concluded Denmark Open. The two had met in the DANISA Denmark Open itself where Yamaguchi had snatched a decisive victory at the end of the match. Saina was conquered after a straight game loss with the scoreline reading 21-10 21-13.
World No. 2 Sindhu will face the 27th ranked Beatriz Corrales from Spain in the first round.
Things will be a little simple for the Men’s singles. After an overwhelming number of contenders withdrew, the lads from India will be looking to make full use of the opportunity. Both HS Prannoy and Sai Praneeth have already won their respective first matches. Srikanth Kidambi was handed a stroke of luck after Rajiv Ouseph, with whom he was originally drawn with, withdrew. Now he faces a lower ranked Fabian Roth who is ranked 45th in the World.
The Indian shuttlers will definitely look to continue their streak of positive results.