Orleans Masters 2023: Saina top Indian in contention; Satwik-Chirag too back in action

Orleans (France), April 3 (IANS) Former World No 1 and London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will lead the Indian challenge in the women’s main draw of Orleans Masters 2023 to be played here from April 4 to 9.
Saina, who has dropped to 31 in the BWF Rankings, is the highest-ranked Indian woman player in the fray as two-time Olympic medallist P.V Sindhu, who lost in the final of the Madrid Masters 2023 on Sunday, has decided to give the event a miss. Men’s singles players Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy will also skip the BWF Super 300 tournament.
However, the Indian fans’ focus will be on the Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who has been given the top seeding in the main draw.
Satwik and Chirag are ranked sixth in the latest BWF Rankings and are returning to action after missing the Madrid Spain Masters, following their win in the Swiss Open last month. The India pair will open against the Dutch pair of Ruben Jille and Ties van der Lecq.
Saina, who took the court for the last time this season at the Indian Open this year will look to start fresh after missing the German Open, All England Open, Swiss Open and the Madrid Spain Masters tournaments. The former world No. 1, who is currently 31st in the badminton rankings, will open her campaign against a qualifier in the opening round.
The former world No. 1 will open her campaign against a qualifier in the opening round but is expected to face Rio 2016 Olympic champion Carolina Marin, the top seed, in the second round. Marin reached the semifinals in the Madrid Spain Masters at the weekend.
Apart from Saina, the other Indian women players in the fray are Aakarshi Kashyap and Malavika Bansod. The Indians in the qualifying rounds are Tanya Hemanth, Tasnim Mir and Ashmita Chaliha.
In the men’s singles main draw, the 43rd-ranked Mithun Manjunath is the highest-ranked Indian in the draw with the 2016 World Championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth, ranked 49th in the World, as the second-best contender.
Manjunath will open his campaign against Denmark’s Victyor Svendsend while Sai Praneeth will start against a qualifier.
Among the other Indians in the men’s main draw, Sameer Verma will start against Nhat Nguyen of Vietnam while Kiran George will take on Mark Caljouw in the first round.
Former Commonwealth Games men’s singles gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap will be the top attraction in the men’s singles qualifiers. He will start against Chi Yu Jen of Chinese Taipei in the first round of qualifiers.
The other Indians in the fray in the men’s singles qualifying are Priyanshu Rajawat and Maisnam Meiraba.
MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad Garaga/Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala are the other doubles pairs in the main draw while N Sikki Reddy and Arathi Sara Sunil along with Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi are the other pairs in the women’s doubles draw.
The mixed doubles pair of seasoned Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy are the top Indians in the fray with K Sai Pratheek/Tanisha Crasto and Rohan Kapoor/N Sikki Reddy also in the main draw.

- Advertisement -