Paris, October 22: Indian badminton stars, including defending champion Kidambi Srikanth, P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will be eyeing their first major BWF title of the year when the French Open begins here on Tuesday.
World number 10 Saina, who did well to the reach the Denmark Open final on Sunday before losing to nemesis and top-ranked Tai Tzu Ying, and Srikanth, a semifinalist in the same event, have very little time to recover after a hectic last week.
World number three Sindhu will be fresher, having made an unexpected first round exit in Odense.
Besides Srikanth, the other Indians in the men’s singles draw are B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma. Verma had lost a marathon battle against Srikanth in the quarterfinals of Denmark Open.
Ashwini Ponnappa will be playing only mixed doubles this week, alongside Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.
It will take a special performance to win the BWF World Tour Super 750 event which features a high-quality field.
Tai Tzu and Kento Momota, who won in Denmark, will be title favourites again.
The women’s field comprises Tai Tzu, Saina, Sindhu and Carolina Marin while Momota could be challenged by the likes of Srikanth, Chen Long, Son Wan Ho, Viktor Axelsen and Shi Yuqi.
Srikanth faces world number 22 Wong Wing Ki Vincent in the first round while Saina and Sindhu will take on 37th-ranked Saena Kawakami and 11th-ranked Beiwen Zhang respectively.
Zhang had beaten Sindhu last week. (PTI)