Edited By: Amrit Santlani
Last Updated: January 17, 2023, 07:38 IST
Two of the top-ranked Indian badminton players Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy are all set to face off in the first round of India Open 2023 starting on Tuesday in Delhi.
The Indian pair locked horns nearly one week ago in the first round of the Malaysia Open as well, and according to the defending champion Sen, it’s quite ‘unfortunate’ that he’s set to square off against Prannoy in the first round itself.
The Indian pair of Sen and Prannoy have met each other six times since the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham. Prannoy has won two times in that period, including the most recent three-set win over Sen which eliminated the youngster from the Malaysian Open first round.
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They are both among the top 10 in BWF rankings and would have been expected to go deep into the India Open however, neither of them was too pleased to be paired alongside each other for a 7th meeting.
Prannoy, the highest-ranked Indian player reached the semifinals of the recently concluded Super 1000 series tournament, where he was beaten by Japan Kodai Naraoka.
After knowing that he will be taking on the defending champion Sen in Delhi, the 30-year-old couldn’t help to make a rather sarcastic comment on the draw.
“@lakshya_sen looks like Tournament Software wants to see only us playing against each other in all tournaments. 7th meeting in the last 1 year, You got to be kidding me,” Prannoy had tweeted.
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Sen meanwhile felt that the draw was ‘unfortunate’ but they will have to be ready for any challenges that come forward.
Replying to a query from the Hindustan Times in the press conference ahead of the India Open, Sen stated, “Yeah, we have met many times over the past few months. Not every time in the first round… last year, it was in the quarterfinals or semi-finals.”
“This time, it’s quite unfortunate that we are playing each other in the first round twice in a week. We just have to take it as just another match… Both of us are ranked in the top-10 and it’s completely okay that we are playing in the first round. That’s how the draw goes in every tournament,” he added.
The youngster from Almora also insisted that the conditions in Delhi will be different to that in Malaysia and he’ll be looking to give his best.
“The conditions will be different here. It’s a different match and it was a very close contest last time as well, I will give my best this time,” said the CWG 2022 gold medalist.
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