Satwik-Chirag all ready for Thailand Open

Star shuttlers Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will look to regain their competitive edge as they spearhead the Indian challenge at the Thailand Open Super 500 tournament, beginning here on Tuesday.

The top seeded Indian pair, who are one of the favourites to win a gold at the Paris Olympics, found it a tad difficult to negotiate the variety of serves dished out by the Indonesians and Chinese at the Thomas Cup.

Both shuttlers will look to address the slight drop in their level this week when they begin their campaign against Malaysia’s Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub Azriyn and Tan Wee Kiong.

With the Olympic-bound shuttlers looking to fine-tune their skills ahead of the Paris Games, the BWF world tour events will offer the perfect platform for them to test those new strokes or tweaks that they make to their games.
India’s top player in singles, HS Prannoy, a world championships and Asian Games bronze medallist, too will have to find his best footing after being troubled by health issues this season.

His win over Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting was a confidence booster but the loss against China’s Shi Yuqi will trouble him as he needs to close out such narrow games to get into the best mental shape ahead of the Olympics.

Kiran George and Sathish Kumar Karunakaran are also in fray, while Lakshya Sen and PV Sindhu had pulled out before the draw was announced last week.

While Kiran will face China’s Australia Open winner Weng Hong Yang, Sathish, who had claimed the Odisha Masters title last December, takes on a qualifier in their respective opening matches.