PV SIndhu and Kidambi Srikanth look to rediscover form at Australian Open 2023
When they open their campaigns at the Australia Open badminton event here on Tuesday, P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will try to halt their recent downturn in performance. It will be Sindhu and Srikanth's final opportunity to rediscover form before the World Championships next month in Denmark.
Sindhu, the 2019 world champion, has struggled to maintain her winning form since returning from an injury, as she has prematurely exited as many as seven of the 12 BWF World Tour competitions this year.
With back-to-back events scheduled, there isn't much time, but the two-time Olympic medalist will attempt to use Hashim to help her discover her best self and test out some of her moves when she faces off against fellow countrywoman Ashmita Chaliha in the first round. Although Ashmita lost both times they played in the Guwahati Senior Nationals Championships, she managed to give the premier Indian player a fright.
Even Srikanth hasn't been able to string together victories in a single week. He showed flashes of his former glory when, at the Japan Open, he defeated fellow Indian H.S. Prannoy after crushing Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen with his characteristic aggressive style. When facing Japan's Kenta Nishimoto on the court, the former World No. 1 will need to reduce his mistakes.
The most reliable players for India this season have been Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, and the World No. 2 duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. Satwik and Chirag, who have won four titles, have been the buzz of the town, but they have chosen to forgo the competition in order to get ready for the World Championships (August 21–27).
The only other Indians to win championships this season were Prannoy and Sen, who were similarly reliable, especially the former. Prannoy will play Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk Yiu this week, while Sen, the Canada Open champion, will face Lu Guang Zu of China in their preliminary match.
Since winning the Orleans Masters earlier this year, young Priyanshu Rajawat has also been excellent despite his defeats, giving his opponents a fright, including Sen, Japan's Kodai Naraoka, and World No. 2 Anthony Ginting of Indonesia. The 21-year-old will face Nathan Tang, a local competitor, to open his campaign.