PV Sindhu will want to put behind the ghosts of 2019 and start afresh as she beings her campaign at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 tournament, starting in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
World number six Sindhu had a dream run at the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland where she won the title last year, but she made early exits in the rest of the season, including her failure to defend the World Tour Finals crown in December.
With the Olympics less than seven months away, Sindhu will look to iron out the flaws and hit the right note when she begins her women’s singles campaign at the USD 400,000 event.
Sixth seed Sindhu will have an easy opponent in Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya in the first round and the Indian will look to stay on course for an expected clash with world number 1 Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals.
Other players such as Saina Nehwal, who claimed the Indonesia Masters last year before slumping to a series of early exits in the rest of the year, will open against a qualifier at the Axiata Arena.
Kidambi Srikanth, who pulled out of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) to be in the best shape in the Olympic year, will start the new year with a clash against second seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.
B Sai Praneeth, who ended as the best-placed Indian men’s singles player in the BWF ranking, will open against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke, while Sameer Verma, having endured a difficult 2019, will square off against Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the first round.
Former world number six Parupalli Kashyap, who showed some sparks of his earlier self last year, will face top seed and world number one Kento Momota of Japan in the first round, while H S Prannoy, who was down with health issues for most of last season, will meet Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama.