Sydney: High on confidence after his Indonesian Open triumph on Sunday, Kidambi Srikanth aims to cash in on his good form and a good draw at the $750,000 Australia Open Superseries, starting from Wednesday, as he aims to hit peak ahead of the World Championships.
The Sydney meet is the last Superseries Badminton tournament ahead of the World Championships, to be held between August 21 to 27 in Glasgow. With his game in rhythm, Srikanth is not willing to drop his intensity or tweak a thing or two prior to the World Championships.
The Guntur player will be the one of the favourites going by his current form and is raring to go all guns blazing when he starts his campaign against a Chinese Taipei qualifier Kan Chao Yu on Wednesday.
When asked about the importance of this last Superseries, the 24-year-old reckoned that for him every tournament is important.
“I have a good draw and I want to give my 100 per cent from first round. It is nothing like that. Every Superseries is important,” the 2016 Olympic quarter-finalist told IANS.
Besides Srikanth, defending champion Saina Nehwal and Rio Olympics silver medallist and fifth seed P.V. Sindhu, who were knocked out of the pre-quarterfinals last week, will also be contenders in the SAustralian Open.
But it will be a tough task ahead of the London Games bronze medallist Saina as she will face fourth seed Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea, while Sindhu will face Sayaka Sato of Japan.
Among others, B. Sai Praneeth, who bagged his maiden Superseries title at the Singapore Open in April, Sameer Verma, Ajay Jayaram will also start their campaign from Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Praneeth, who was knocked out in the opening of the Indonesia Open, will face Tommy Sugiarto while Verma will face Chinese Taipei’s Tzu Wei Wang. Jayaram will take on seventh seeded Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong.
For 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap, it will be an uphill task as he will be up against top seed Son Wan Ho of South Korea in men’s singles match. Youngster Siril Verma will start his campaign against experienced Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark.
In other categories, Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy will face Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen and Jennifer Tam of Australia in women’s doubles, and then Ashwini will pair up with Satwik Rankireddy for mixed doubles. Ashwini and Satwik will face Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah of Hong Kong.
In men’s doubles, Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy will be up against Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan, and Francis Alwin and Kona Tarun will face Indonesia-Australia duo of Hendra Setiawan and Boon Heong Tan. (IANS)