Korea Open 2023 | PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth look to regain touch
In order to win the first championship of the season, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will need to be consistent. The Korea Open has lost some of its luster as a result of the absence of certain important players, notably Lakshya Sen.
With more than half of the season now over, Sindhu is yet to win a championship this year. She returned from a five-month injury layoff due to a stress fracture in her ankle, but hasn't been able to piece together a run of victories in a week.
The two-time Olympian's greatest finish this year was making it to the Madrid Spain Masters final. She showed promise as she advanced to the Canada Open semifinals, but after losing to China's Gao Fang Jie in the US Open, she lost her next match and was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
When the world No. 12 Indian faces Chinese Taipei's Pai Yu Po in the Super 500 competition, she will need to bounce back swiftly from the setback. If she does well, she may compete against Chen Yu Fei, the Olympic champion from China.
Sindhu will be hoping she finds her footing fast in the Olympic qualification season which ends in April of next year with the help of her new coach Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, a former All England champion, who is also travelling with her this week.
Srikanth, the silver medalist from the 2021 World Championships, has also had hot and cold streaks, making it to the quarterfinals of the Spain Masters, Malaysia Masters, and Indonesia Open. The former world number one practised with his new coach, Indonesian Wiempie Mahardi, and will look to impress this week when he takes against Japan's Kento Momota in his opening match.
Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy managed to win Super 500 championships in Canada and Malaysia this year, but trophies evaded Sindhu and Srikanth.
Sen, however, will not be competing this week since he withdrew from the competition, but Prannoy, the fifth seed, will be trying to maintain his momentum when he takes on Julien Carraggi of Belgium, who was elevated to the starting lineup as a result of the withdrawal of India's Sameer Verma.
Priyanshu Rajawat, the Orleans Masters champion, Mithun Manjunath, the national champion, and Kiran George, the 2022 Odisha Open champion, will all compete in the men's singles tournament. Rajawat will compete against a qualifier, Mithun will compete against Ng Tze Yong of Malaysia, and Kiran will compete against Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei.
(With PTI inputs)