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Australia SS: tough start for Saina & Sindhu; can Srikanth & Prannoy continue their dream run?

AFTER INDONESIA SSP, shuttlers now head to Australia for another Super Series tournament.

Everyone will have their eyes on the winner of Indonesia, Kidambi Srikanth and expect him to repeat his heroics once again. His opening round opponent is yet to be decided.

Top shuttlers such as Lee Chong Wei, Viktor Axelsen etc have withdrawn from the tournament which opens up the chances for Indian shuttlers.

On the other hand, HS Prannoy who defeated the likes of Lee Chong and Chen Long in Indonesia will have his confidence boosted. He would also want to let his frustration out post his semi-final loss against Kazumasa Sakai.

Prannoy plays his opening round against Englishman Rajiv Ouseph, the head-to-head count between the two is levelled at 1-1. He will be facing tough opponents along the way in the tournament but if he can show the similar display of performance like in Indonesia, he will be unstoppable.

Ajay Jayaram is back in action after missing out Indonesia SS. He will be up against 7th seed Ng Ka Long Angus in the opening round. Meanwhile Thailand GPG winner Sai Praneeth faces Tommy Sugiarto in the first round. He will once again want to get back in top form after exiting in first round at Indonesia.

In the qualifiers there are three shuttlers competing from India, Parupalli Kashyap, Shreyansh Jaiswal and Siril Verma.

On the women's singles front, usual candidates Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu will be in action. Both will face tough opponents in the opening round. Fifth seed Sindhu plays Indonesia SSP winner Sayaka Sato while Saina will be up against runners-up and fourth seed Sung Ji Hyun.

The question riding on fans' minds will be, will the defending champion Saina be able to defend her title?

In the qualifiers, Ruthvika Shivani will be seen fighting for a place in the main round.

There are three pairs in the men's doubles category. Manu Attri will be back in action after recovering from injury. Attri/Sumeeth Reddy will take on 3rd seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda; Francis Alwin/Tarun Kona will play Hendra Setiawan/Boon Heong Tan and young duo of Satwik/Chirag Shetty will play Law Cheuk Him/Lee Chun Hei.

Satwik will also be seen in mixed doubles along with partner Ashwini Ponnappa. They will play Lee Chung Hei/Chau Hoi Wah in the opening round. This will be first time for Satwik/Ashwini at post their heroics at Sudirman Cup.

Ashwini will also play women's doubles along with Sikki Reddy and will begin their campaign against Hsuan Wendy Chen/Jennifer Tam.

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