EL MONTE (US): Brimming with confidence after winning his maiden Grand Prix title at Canada, India’s B Sai Praneeth will now set his eyes on the USD 120,000 US Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament starting here tomorrow.
The 23-year-old Praneeth, who clinched the men’s singles title at Canada Open yesterday after defeating Korea’s Lee Hyun Il in straight games, will start his campaign against Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen.
Rio-bound Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy too will be itching to get another trophy in their cabinet after grabbing the men’s doubles crown yesterday at the Canada Open following a lop-sided final against Canadian duo of Adrian Liu and Toby Ng.
The first Indian men’s doubles pair to qualify for the Rio Olympics, Manu and Sumeeth are the defending champions here and has got a bye in the opening round.
Young Harsheel Dani will meet Israel’s Misha Zilberman, while fifth seed HS Prannoy will face USA’s Calvin Lin, RMV Gurusaidutt will square up against USA’s Phillips Jap and Pratul Joshi will take on Canada’s Kevin Barkman.
Anand Pawar too is set to take on Denmark’s Peder Sovndal, while fourth seed Ajay Jayaram, who had injured his shoulder a bit during the quarterfinal clash at Canada, too shrugged off the concern and will take on Denmark’s Joachim Persson in the opening round.
“Disappointing end to the tournament for me. Seemed to have injured my shoulder a bit during the quarterfinal.
Couldn’t play at 100 per cent today,” Jayaram had tweeted after the match.
“Quite frustrating but doesn’t look like anything major and hopefully should be ok for next week’s US open,” he added.
In women’s singles, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde will take on Japan’s Ayumi Mine, while Tanvi Lad will play against Guatemala’s Nikte Alejandra Sotomayor.
Among other Indians, men’s doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar, women’s doubles combo of Jakkampudi Meghana and S Poorvisha Ram and Rio-bound top seeds Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa are also in the fray.
Ashwini, however, remains doubtful as she had suffered a viral fever during the Canada Open and had to withdraw from the tournament midway.
Mixed doubles pair of Pranaav and Nelakurihi Sikki Reddy also have their names in the draw.–PTI