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Thailand Open: Sindhu, Lakshya pull out, Satwik-Chirag to lead Indian challenge

World no. 3 Satwik and Chirag may face a tough task in the semifinal where China's Thomas Cup-winning heroes are likely to challenge them.

Satwik and Chirag

FILE PHOTO: Indian doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated Peeratchai Sukphun and Pakkapon Teeraratsakul of Thailand in the Thomas Cup in Chengdu on April 27, 2024.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 8 May 2024 9:54 AM GMT

PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen have pulled out of the Thailand Open Super 500 as the draws for the BWF World Tour event have been announced on Wednesday.

The Thailand Open marks the resumption of the World Tour after a gap of a month, marked by the Thomas and Uber Cup.

World no. 3 men's doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will look for redemption of their form after a rather dismal show at the Thomas Cup, where they lost two matches against Indonesia's Bagas Maulana-Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and China's Liang Wei Keng-Wang Chang.

Satwik and Chirag - the top-seeded pairing at the event- will open their campaign against world no. 71 Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub and Azriyn and Ta Wee Kiong of Malaysia.

Given the nature of the field, their road to the semifinals should not be difficult, with the three top Indonesian pairings of Maulana and Shohibul Firki, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, world no. 13 Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin being placed in the other half of the draw.

The Indian pair's main challenge might come in the semifinals where China's Thomas Cup-winning heroes - world no. 11 He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu, who are also expected to make the semis, are likely to be their opponents.

Satwik and Chirag last competed on the World Tour at the All England Open, where they lost in the Round of 16. But this year, they reached three finals and won the French Open.

Vimalraj Annadurai and Mauryan Kathiravan are the other men's doubles duo who will play in the qualifiers.

Prannoy, Axelsen drawn in the same half

HS Prannoy, Kiran Goerge and Sathish Kumar Karunakaran will represent India in men's singles.

Prannoy, the world no. 9, will begin his campaign against a qualifier, while Kiran's task will be cut out against Weng Hong Yang of China. Satish, too, will play a qualifier in the first round.

Parannoy is likely to face a daunting task in the quarterfinal where Ramus Gemke is expected to be his opponent. With world no. 1 Viktor Axelsen and Loh Kean Yew placed in the first half of the draw, Prannoy, who has been struggling for form in the ongoing season, could be tested in the semifinals.

Along with Lakshya, Kidambi Srikanth has also given the Thailand Open a miss.

In the absence of Sindhu, who also skipped the Uber Cup, India's chances in the women's singles will lie with youngsters such as Malvika Bansod, Ashmita Chaliha, Samiya Imad Farooqui, Aakarshi Kashyap and Unnati Hooda. They will begin their campaign in Round of 32.

In mixed doubles, two Indian pairings of B Sumeeth Reddy-N Sikki Reddy and Sathish Kumar and Aadya Variyath will be in action in the first round.

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