Japan Open draw: Satwik-Chirag look to continue winning streak, singles players aim to bounce back

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Fresh from their Korea Open triumph, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will look for their third straight title at the Japan Open Super 750 starting Tuesday, while India's singles stars will look to bounce back after a bad week.

Lakshya Sen will make a return after missing the Korea Open, where nine out of 11 singles players were knocked out in the first round while no one bar Satwik-Chirag went past the second round.

Here's a look at the Indians' draw and chances at Japan Open:

Men's singles

In men's singles, the all-Indian clashes missing from recent tournaments are back.

Prannoy, who won his first BWF World Tour title at the Malaysia Masters in May, remains India's top-ranked player but dropped two spots to 10th. He is seeded eighth and starts against Li Shi Feng of China, who won the US Open two weeks back. The Indian has a positive 2-0 record against him.

Kidambi Srikanth is up against Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, who he has a 1-2 record against. If both Indians overcome their respective opening round hurdles, Prannoy and Srikanth will clash in the battle for the quarterfinals, where the winner will likely be up against top-seeded Viktor Axelsen.

There will be one all India-clash in the first round as Lakshya, who won the Canada Open earlier this month, will play upcoming youngster Priyanshu Rajawat in their first meeting on the BWF Tour. The winner has a potentially tough test in the form of second seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia in the next round.

Mithun Manjunath, promoted from reserves, will start against Weng Hong Yang. A win will probably pit him against fifth seed Jonatan Christie.

Women's singles

The big story here is the slump of PV Sindhu.

The former world champion has been a shadow of her past self post her injury layoff last year and has dropped to world No. 17 following first round exits in six of the 12 BWF World Tour events this year. The latest was in the Korean Open last week where she lost to lower-ranked Pai Yu-Po.

She now has a new coach in Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, the 2003 All-England champion and will look to turn things around with exactly one year to go for the Paris Olympics. In Tokyo, Sindhu will start against Zhang Yi Man, whom she beat in the Malaysian Open quarters in May this year. With the latest win, Sindhu has a 2-2 win-loss record against the 20th ranked Chinese player.

But should Sindhu overcome the first-round hurdle, she is likely to be up against her nemesis Tai Tzu Ying who has beaten the Indian nine times in a row in her 19-5 win-loss record.

The other Indian players have a tough draw too. Aakarshi Kashyap will face top-seeded Akane Yamaguchi in the opener while Malavika Bansod starts against Aya Ohori and a win may pit her against the red-hot An Se-young.

Men's doubles

All eyes will be on Satwik and Chirag - who are on a 10-match winning streak and closing in on the world No 1 ranking. The third-seeded Indians face Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin of Indonesia in the opening round, in what is their first meeting.

The other seeds in their section are Malaysia's Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, who they beat in the Badminton Asia Championship final. Satwik-Chirag need top seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto to lose before the quarterfinals to have a shot at world No 1.

The other Indian pair in the draw are MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, who start against fourth seeds Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia.

Women's doubles

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand vs. Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi

The only Indian pair in the women's doubles draw, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, who have a string of poor results behind them, start against locals Sayaka Hobara and Yui Suizu in what is their first meeting. A win will likely pit them against sixth seeds Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti.

Mixed Doubles

India will have representation in this section after Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy were promoted from reserves. They start against Ye Hong Wei and Lee Chia Hsin in what is the pair's first meeting.

(With inputs from PTI)