India's ace shuttlers P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will look to make a positive start to the new season when they kick off the international calendar at the USD 350,000 Indonesia Masters World Tour Super 500 tournament beginning on Tuesday. Sindhu and Srikanth have been simply sensational last season as they clinched multiple titles and they would begin their quest for another successful season, taking on Indonesia's Hanna Ramadini and Malaysia's Zulfadli Zulkiffli respectively in the main draw of women's and men's event.
Sindhu won three titles and three silvers last season, while Srikanth exceeded all expectations with four titles and runners-up finish and the duo would hope to continue their good run in the new season.
Sindhu was in good form in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) where her only loss was against Korea's Sung Ji Hyun but Srikanth had to endure three losses against Chinese Taipei's Tzu Wei Wang and compatriots H S Prannoy and B Sai Praneeth.
Coming back from an ankle injury, London Games bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, who had a moderate last season with the only highlight being the bronze at World Championship, will have a tough task at hand when she faces young world no 8 Chen Yufei, seeded seventh, in the opening round.
H S Prannoy, who achieved a career-best ranking of world no 10 with some scintillating performances last year, will begin the season with a clash against Denmark's Rasmus Gemke, while a fit-again Sameer Verma will meet a formidable Kazumasa Sakai of Japan in the opening round.
Prannoy had a good outing at the PBL before his 10-match winning streak was snapped by Thailand's T Saensomboonsuk.
The Indian had also lost to world no 1 Viktor Axelsen in the semifinals to end Ahmedabad Smash Masters campaign in the third edition.
In men's doubles competition, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will meet eighth-seeded Japanese pair of Takuto Inque and Yuki Kaneko, while Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy face Chinese Taipei's Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han.
In the men's qualifiers tomorrow, four Indians, including Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, will be in the fray.
While Kashyap will square off against Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, Sourabh Verma faces Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Subhankar Dey, who pulled off an upset win against France's Brice Leverdez in the PBL, plays local shuttler Panji Ahmad Maulana. Promising shuttler Abhishek Yelegar takes on Malaysia's Chong Wei Feng.
The tournament will also serve as a good match practice for the Indian shuttlers, especially defending champion Sindhu, ahead of the India Open starting January 30.
(With PTI Inputs)