Berlin: On a comeback trail after recovering from an ankle injury, India's Kidambi Srikanth will be looking for his first title of the season when he begins his campaign at the German Grand Prix Gold starting in Germany on Tuesday.
Srikanth, who had reached the quarterfinals at the Rio Olympics in August, had injured himself in Japan and aggravated a stress fracture on his right ankle during his loss in the Korea Super Series last September.
A former World No. 3, Srikanth had reached the semifinals at Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold before his title defence was broken by compatriot Sai Praneeth at Lucknow last month and the Indian will look to make amends ahead of the prestigious All England Championship next month.
The Indian, seeded 12th, who has been working on his endurance to take on the best in the world, will face Slovakia's Alen Roj in the opening round of the tournament which will also see six top-10 players, including Olympic champion Cheng Long and legendary Lin Dan, vying for honours.
"I am in good shape. I don't want to rush into tournaments. I am not too worried about ranking. It's fine, I know I will be back in just two months if I can play to my potential," said Srikanth, who dropped nine places to be 30th in the BWF rankings released last week.
Srikanth is the only top Indian player participating in the tournament, which will witness many young Indians testings their skills against the best.
In men's singles, Rahul Yadav Chittaboina will face Misha Zilberman of Israel, Harsheel Dani meets sixth seed Chou Tien Chen and Siril Verma will fight it out against Chinese third seed Lin Dan. Subhankar Dey will take on China's Zhao Junpeng.
In the women's singles, Tanvi Lad, who will take on a qualifier in the opener, is likely to meet Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain in the second round.
In men's doubles, Francis Alwin and Kona Tarun will be the only Indians and they will face fifth seeds Jhe-Huei Lee and Yang Lee from Chinese Taipei.
Updated Date: Feb 27, 2017 22:14 PM