Lakshya Sen won the second of his two Super 100 titles at the SaarLorLux Open last year. Several Indian players will be in fray this time.
Rising Indian badminton player Lakshya Sen will be aiming to retain his title at the SaarLorLox Open in Saarbrucken, Germany.
The Super 100 event, which begins on Tuesday, will not offer any points towards qualification for the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals in Thailand next year - but for Sen it is the scene of many happy memories.
Lakshya Sen, currently ranked world number 27, beat China’s Weng Hongyang in last year's SaarLorLux Open final. It was his second Super 100 title of the year, having earlier won the Dutch Open.
Sen, 19, returned to competitive action on the BWF World Tour’s Denmark Open a fortnight ago, where he bowed out to local player Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus in the second round.
The teenager is seeded second at the SaarLorLux Open and his toughest competitor for the title is likely to be top-seeded Dane Rasmus Gemke. Gemke made to the men’s singles final at the season-resuming Denmark Open but fell to compatriot Anders Antonsen.
Both Lakshya Sen and Rasmus Gemke have been handed byes in the first round. Sen has been drawn in the bottom half and will play either Italy’s Fabio Caponio or Howard Shu of USA in the second round.
Apart from Lakshya Sen, there will be other Indian badminton players in fray at the SaarLorLux Open.
Veterans Ajay Jayaram and Subhankar Dey, both of whom were knocked out in the first round at the Denmark Open, will be in action at the Super 100 event.
Jayaram faces Belgium’s Maxime Moreels in the opening round while sixth seed Subhankar Dey, winner of the SaarLorLux Open in 2018, has been given a bye.
Another youngster looking to impress will be 18-year-old Malvika Bansod.
The teenager was all set to play for India at the Uber Cup, the women’s team badminton championship, alongside Olympic medallists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, before the event was called off this year due to several countries pulling out.
Bansod will now begin her 2020 season against Estonia’s Kristin Kuuba in the women’s singles, a field which will also have reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin.
The first round of the SaarLorLux Open is scheduled to be played on October 27. The event will start at 1:30 PM Indian Standard Time (IST).
Here’s the draw for Indian badminton players.
Ajay Jayaram vs Maxime Moreels
Lakshya Sen vs Fabio Caponio/Howard Shu (Round 2)
Subhankar Dey vs Christian Kirchmayr/Brian Yang (Round 2)
Malvika Bansod vs Kristin Kuuba