Fresh from their Korea Open triumph, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will look to continue their dream run, even as the focus will be on the struggling PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy in the Japan Open Super 750 badminton tournament, beginning here on Tuesday.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games-winning Indian doubles pair of Satwik-Chirag on Sunday stunned world No. 1 pair of Fajar Alfian and Muhamad Rian Ardianto in a hard-fought final to extend their winning streak to 10 matches.
They have been in the form of their careers, winning the Swiss Open, Asian Championships and Indonesia Open this year as the third-seeded Indians face Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin of Indonesia in the opening round.
Exactly a year before the Paris Olympics, the biggest talking point in the Indian badminton circuit has been that of the wobbly form of Sindhu.
The two-time Olympic medallist and former world champion has been a shadow of her past post her injury rehab and has dropped to world No. 17 following her first-round exits in six of the 12 BWF World Tour events this year. The latest was in Korean Open last week where she lost to lower-ranked Pai Yu-Po under the guidance of her high-profile new coach Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, the 2003 All-England champion.
Sindhu has been error-prone and struggling to finish points even against lower-rung players. She will have to work on her fast, attacking game.
Sindhu’s opening-round hurdle is Zhang Yi Man, against whom the Indian won in the Malaysian Open quarters, en route to her semi-final finish in May this year.