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Saina, Srikanth will look for consistency at Malaysia Open

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Top Indian shuttlers, including Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, will look to plug little loopholes in their games when they start their campaign at the USD 550,000 Malaysia Open which starts with the qualifiers here tomorrow.

It is the failure to win close matches that has affected the performance of Indian shuttlers and they would look to address the issue during the Super Series Premier event, the main draw of which starts Wednesday.

After recovering from a nagging achilles tendons injury, Saina failed to defend her title at the India Open. She played well against Li Xuerui in the semifinals but two crucial points in the decider ended her run.

The 26-year-old will look to clear those little chinks in the armoury ahead of her meeting with Nitchaon Jindapol in the opening round. Saina has beaten the Thai girl five times, including a second round win at India Open.

“I am analysing better. But because of the injury, the match practice is less. When you come out of injury and play against such tough opponents, you feel everything is new. I played two tournaments and I was good but here I was better, You need to play with them more,” Saina had said.

Srikanth, on the other hand, has not crossed the second round of any Super Series event ever since his India Open win last year. His loss in the opening round last week will affect his ranking and might jeopardise his Olympic qualification.

The Indian will take on Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in the opening round, against whom he has a 3-1 record.

Two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, P V Sindhu is also not getting desired results despite putting all the effort. She has lost to seven different opponents in the last few months and would be looking for some big wins when she opens her campaign against China’s He Bingjiao.

She lost to the World No. 18 twice in as many meetings and would look for a revenge on Wednesday.

For men’s shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and H S Prannoy, who are running in the race to qualify for the Olympics, it will all about getting as many ranking points under their belt to boost their position in the BWF ranking.

World No. 24 Jayaram will open his campaign against Hong Kong’s Hu Yun, while World No. 19 Prannoy will face Japanese third seed Kento Momota, who won the India Super Series last night at the Siri Fort Complex in Delhi.

World No. 19 men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, who are also trying to seal their spot for Rio Games, will meet Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov.

Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar, who reached the finals of Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold, will face third seeded Chinese Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan in the opening round.

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