Denmark Open: I am not thinking too much about the draw, says Kidambi Srikanth | Badminton News – Times of India


HYDERABAD: Finally, after several postponements and cancellations, international badminton will resume with the Danisa Denmark Open BWF Super-750 tournament in Odense on Tuesday.
The calendar came to an abrupt halt after the All England Championships in mid-March due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Indian challenge is spearheaded by former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth. Lakshya Sen, Ajay Jayaram and Subhankar Dey are the only Indians to feature in this event as other shuttlers preferred to give this tournament a miss assuming that it is not worth a risk with no ranking points at stake.
However, BWF clarified on Sunday that ranking points would be awarded to the participants of the Denmark Open.
Meanwhile, the withdrawal of several Japanese shuttlers including world champion Kento Momota brightens the chances of Indian shuttlers.
Along with Momota, Koki Watanabe and Kanta Tsuneyama have withdrawn. While Momota’s talent needs no description, the other two are also formidable players in men’s singles.
In their absence, the men’s singles field has become weak and the Indians have a good chance of going the distance at this event.
Srikanth, who got a decent draw in this tournament, will begin against Toby Penty of England in the first. Srikanth is expected to easily reach the quarterfinals, where the fifth seeded Indian is likely to face second seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. If Srikanth gets past Chou he would be the favourite to win the title and bag a handful of ranking points.
“The exciting thing is that the season is resuming. I am not thinking too much about the draw. I am happy with the way I am practicing and I am playing well. Moreover, I don’t have any injuries,” Srikanth told TOI.
Srikanth will be assisted by Indonesian coach Agus Santoso and physio Kiran Challagundla.
Exciting youngster Lakshya Sen too has a good chance of winning his first major international tournament. Lakshya plays little-known Christo Popov of France in the first round. He may run into the formidable Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark in the second round.
Ajay Jayaram got a tough draw as he faces third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the first round.
The other Indian in the fray, Subhankar Dey is likely to play Kidambi Srikanth in the second round.
Chief coach of Indian badminton team Pullela Gopichand said that players could be rusty as it is the first tournament after six months.
“They’ve been training hard for the last couple of months without a tournament. It’s a one-off tournament, sometimes you could be rusty. I hope they all have a good tournament,” said Gopichand.
About Srikanth, he said, “Srikanth has been training well with Agus for the last two months. Hopefully, he should be having some good results.”

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