Hong Kong: Indian shuttlers will be facing tough early rounds when the $350,000 Hong Kong Open Super Series kicks off at the Hong Kong Coliseum here on Tuesday.
India`s two shuttle queens -- seventh seed Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu -- will be facing difficult challenges in their women`s singles campaign.
World No.7 Saina is still without a title this year and recent form has also seen her lose out very early in competition.
In the eastern city state, she will take on old Indonesian rival Belaetrix Manuputi in the first round over whom the Indian has a 2-0 career record. The Hyderabadi is expected to move in to the quarterfinals where she will likely face Olympic champion and reigning World No.1 Li Xuerui of China.
World No.10 Sindhu, on the other hand, faces another a tough challenge in the face of second seed and World No.2 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, against whom the Indian has a 0-2 deficit.
In men`s singles, K. Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram and Parupalli Kashyap will spearhead the Indian challenge.
Srikanth will have to play out of his skin to proceed further in the tournament as he takes on World No.1 and top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the first round.
Kashyap, on the other hand, has China`s Zhengming Wang up his sleeve in the first round and if he manages to beat the Chinese then it will be another Chinese in second seed Chen Long.
Jayaram also has an onerous match on his head as he takes on Vietnam`s seventh seed Tien Minh Nguyen in the first round.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar will represent India in men`s doubles while it will be the regular pair of Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa in mixed doubles.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.