Indian shuttlers HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen have pulled out of the Syed Modi International, taking some sheen out of the Super 300 badminton tournament starting on Tuesday. Asian Games bronze medallist Prannoy had recovered from a back injury to reach the semifinals at China Masters Super 750, while Canada Open winner Sen, world No. 17, hasn’t looked his self with six first-round exit since August. It has been a hectic schedule for the players and with the Olympic qualification on the line, players would like to be fresh for the next season. The BWF ‘Race to Paris Ranking Lists’ of 30 April will be considered for qualification. Olympic medallist P V Sindhu is also missing in action as she recovers from an injury. World No. 24 Kidambi Srikanth is now the top-ranked Indian in men’s singles draw, which also has Tokyo Olympian B Sai Praneeth, Indonesian Masters Super 100 winner Kiran George and Priyanshu Rajawat, who won the Orleans Masters Super 300 title this year.
Six seed Srikanth will open against Chinese Taipei’s Chia Hao Lee, while Priyanshu will face Dmitriy Panarin of Kazakhstan. Kiran will take on a qualifier and Praneeth, who has been struggling with form, will face Japan’s second seed Kenta Nishimoto.
Former world No. 11 Sameer Verma, who is trying to make a comeback after battling injuries, will take on Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei.
Mithun Manjunath will meet France’s Alex Lanier, while former world junior championships silver medallist S. Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian will fight it out against Arnaud Merkle of France.
In women’s singles, Malvika Bansod, Aakarshi Kashyap, Unnati Hooda, Anupama Upadhaya, Ashmita Chaliha, Tanya Hemanth, Tasnim Mir and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde are in the fray