Sen to lead Indian challenge at German Open, Srikanth withdraws
Former world number one Kidambi Srikanth pulled out of the German Open Super 300 badminton tournament starting here on Tuesday, leaving last year’s runner-up Lakshya Sen to lead the Indian challenge. Along with Sen, recently crowned national champion Mithun Manjunath will be expected to do well in the tournament. Sen, the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist, had beaten world number one Viktor Axelsen in the semi-finals last season but missed out on the title by losing in the final.
The 21-year-old has been seeded sixth in the tournament. He will open his campaign against France’s Christo Popov while after overcoming his initial challenges, he could face top seed Lee Ji Jia of Malaysia in the quarter-finals.
“I can face Li Ji Jia in the quarterfinals, so I am looking forward to it,” Sen said. I have worked hard to find my rhythm.So, hope to get in good form before the ‘All England’. Manjunath, who is confident after his maiden national title, will, however, have to deal with a challenge from former world champion Loh Kean Yew in the opening round. Saina Nehwal and Malvika Bansod are also in the women’s singles draw, while the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy are also set to put up a fight here.