The Super 500 event will be a valuable event before the Commonwealth Games.
The Malaysia Masters Super 500 will kickstart on 5th July. The Super 500 event is one of the highly challenging tournaments of the BWF World Tour. The tournament was introduced in 2009 and includes prize money of USD 150,000. The Indian women’s singles stars P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have been the past winners at this tournament, the former being the title holder twice.
In the men’s singles, H.S. Prannoy will look to continue his good run of form. Whereas Parupalli Kashyap, B. Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma will look to build some momentum considering the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Women’s Singles specialists P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal would also want to end the barren run of form and win medals after early exits in the previous tournaments.
Men’s Doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will pass the Super 500 event wanting to focus on the Birmingham Games. And there will be four teams from India competing in the Women’s Doubles event. Let’s see who the Indians will face in the first round of the upcoming tournament.
Indians face tough tests right from the beginning in Men’s Singles
In the men’s singles, H.S. Prannoy and Sai Praneeth will lead the charge for the Indian team. The duo will be backed by the presence of experienced shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap and Sameer Verma in the draw.
Indian ace H.S Prannoy will begin his campaign against Brice Leverdez of France. World No. 19 reached the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Open not very long ago and would look to do better in the Super 500 event. H.S. Prannoy will have to face the likes of Jonatan Christie and Kento Momota on his way to the finals.
Parupalli Kashyap will face Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia. The former World No. 6 trails the head-to-head record 3-4 against the Indonesian opponent. And even if the 35-year-old comes out victorious from the game, he will have another Indonesian as his potential opponent in Round 2. World No. 6 Anthony Sinsuka Ginting will be the next opponent of Kashyap, provided the two shuttlers win their Round 1 games.
Sameer Verma would lock horns with the second seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. And 2019 World Championship bronze medalist Sai Praneeth will play his opening match against Kevin Cordon of Guatemala. Of all the four Men’s Singles shuttlers, Sai Praneeth has the easiest draw and should reach at least the quarter-finals.
Considering the placings in the draw, it would be a tough challenge for the Indian players at the bottom half of the draw with the presence of second seed Kento Momota of Japan.
Same old draw for Sindhu in Women’s Singles
Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu and former World No.1 Saina Nehwal will test their fortunes once again at the Super 500 event.
Sindhu will face a tough challenge against China’s He Bing Jao. The seventh seed Indian trails 8-10 in the head-to-head against the Chinese. World No. 7 had lost the last encounter against the Chinese shuttler. However, she had won the previous three meetings. Like in the Malaysia Open, Sindhu is once again potentially facing her arch-rival Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal will face Kim Ga Eun of Korea in the first round. The Commonwealth Champion is likely to face first seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the quarters. However, considering the experienced Indian’s form, the games would be challenging for her right from Round 1.
Indian young gun Malvika Bansod will feature in the qualifier in order to make her way into the main draw against Goh Jin Wei of Malaysia.
No Satwik-Chirag in Doubles
With no one representing India in the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles, the focus would only be on the Women’s Doubles where we will have four teams. A variety of young Indian players have made their way in pursuit of securing their first-ever Super 500 medals.
Young Indian duo and All England quarter-finalist Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand have made their way to the tournament this year. They will face Tan Pearly and Thinaah Murlitharan of Malaysia.
Similarly, Ashwini Bhatt and Shikha Gautam will face the Japanese pair of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota. Whereas, the rivals for the Round 1 game of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy will be decided after the qualifying round.