Sindhu, Srikanth lead Indian challenge

Birmingham: The formidable duo of PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will have no dearth of motivation as they aim to win the men’s and women’s title at All England Badminton Championships starting Wednesday here – something their mentor Pullela Gopichand won 17 summers back. The only other person to have won the title here was Prakash Padukone (1980).

Sindhu and Srikanth are expected to have easy first round outings against relatively unheralded opponents but the road is tricky for former finalist Saina Nehwal, who will face none other than World No.1 and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the lung opener. Saina has lost seven successive times against her. However, she exuded confidence and said, “We will find ways and means to beat her.”

Fourth seed Sindhu, on the other hand, would open her campaign against a relatively unknown Thail shuttler Pornpawee Chochuwong in the opening round but could face her India Open conqueror Beiwen Zhang in the next. For Sindhu, it will be about setting the record straight against Zhang. “I have six weeks of training under my belt and I hope I do well at All England Championships. There are many tournaments this year, so I just hope that I give my best and play my game,” Sindhu said, Tuesday here.

Srikanth, meanwhile, seems to have an easy opening round against Frenchman Brice Leverdez. Among other Indians, B Sai Praneeth and World No.12 HS Prannoy are being considered dark horses.

 press trust of india


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