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Focus on PV Sindhu as she looks to end title drought at Malaysia Masters

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Kuala Lumpur, May 20 (PTI) Back from a break, P V Sindhu will look to hit the right notes in her quest for some confidence-boosting wins ahead of Paris Olympics when she spearheads India’s campaign in the Malaysia Masters badminton tournament starting here on Tuesday.

Sindhu, a former world champion, returns to the international circuit after skipping the Uber Cup and Thailand Open, and she will aim to go deep in the women’s singles draw of the BWF World Tour Super 500 event.

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The 28-year-old from Hyderabad hasn’t been able to hit top form after recovering from a knee injury sustained in October last year.

A silver and bronze-winner at the Olympics, Sindhu’s return hasn’t been smooth and she has endured a series of narrow losses. Sindhu has just two quarterfinal finishes to show in her six competitive appearances so far.

The last title win for her came in the 2022 Singapore Open though she did come close to claiming the Spain Masters last year when she reached the finals in Madrid.

Sindhu, who had also suffered a stress fracture on her left ankle en route to the 2022 Commonwealth Games gold, will look to hit the ground running when she opens against Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour this week.

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Top stars such as An Se Young, Chen Yu Fei, Akane Yamaguchi or Carolina Marin are not participating this week and Sindhu will be desperate to test her preparation against the next generation players, who have troubled her recently.

With a new set-up under mentor Prakash Padukone, Sindhu has shown glimpses of her menacing game but she hasn’t been consistent with her shot-selection.

Ashmita Chaliha, Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod too will look to produce some good results after having been in the circuit for quite sometime now.

Chaliha has played some quality matches against the likes of Han Yue and Aya Ohori, both of whom she had pushed to three games recently.

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In men’s singles, Kiran George is the lone Indian in fray and he will open against Japan’s Takuma Obayashi.

While Thailand Open champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have opted out and it will be a chance for Krishna Prasad Garaga and Sai Pratheek K to show their prowess in men’s doubles.

In mixed doubles, the husband-wife duo of B Sumeeth Reddy and N Sikki Reddy, and Sathish Kumar Karunakaran and Aadya Variyath would be carrying India’s hopes.

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
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