Sindhu, Saina look to end 54-year old title wait at Asia Championship


A week’s rest after three back-to-back tournaments, Olympic medallists P V Sindhu and Nehwal will now train their eyes on ending India’s 54-year-old title jinx at the Asia Championship beginning here Wednesday.

It was Dinesh Khanna, who had become the men’s singles champion at the Asian Championship in 1965. Last year, HS Prannoy and Nehwal won bronze medals in their respective categories.

The two-time gold medallist had won two more bronze at the Asia Championship in 2010 and 2016, while Sindhu claimed the bronze at the 2014 event at

The duo will have their task cut out in a draw which boosts of the likes of Akane Yamaguchi, Chen Yufei, Ratchanok Inthanon among others even though defending champion and India’s nemesis has withdrawn from the event.

Sindhu had reached her second semifinal this season at Open before her inexplicable meltdown against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, while Saina perished in the quarterfinals after going down in straight games to the same opponent.

Sindhu, who had won the World Tour Finals in December, will look for her maiden title of the season when she begins her campaign against Japan’s

A win is likely to pit Sindhu against Pornpawee Chochuwong, who had beaten Saina at Open. The Indian is expected to stave off the challenge which will bring her face to face with Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun, who had beaten her twice this year.

Saina is the only Indian to win a title at the Masters and finished at the quarterfinals after fighting through a pancreatic problem. She missed two tournaments before making a comeback at

Though she lost in the first round to Chochowong in Kuala Lumpur, Saina avenged her loss to the Thai at

The 29-year-old from Hyderabad, seeded seventh, will begin her quest for a second title against China’s Han Yue and is likely to clash with of in the quarterfinals.

In men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth has shown some form in the last few weeks, progressing to the finals at Open and two quarterfinal finishes in the next two weeks.

The 26-year-old from Guntur will face Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the opening round and is likely to take on next. He is expected to clash with Olympic champion of in the quarterfinals.

Sameer Verma, who too had entered the last eight at Singapore, will start campaign against Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai and is expected to fight an in-form Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, sixth seed.

In men’s doubles, will field three pairs — and Sanyam Shukla, MR and Ramchandran Shlok and Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Attri.

Women’s pairs of Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh, and Sruthi KP and and will also compete in the tournament, while and Kuhoo Garg, and and and will represent the country in mixed doubles.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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