Kidambi Srikanth pulls out, Lakshya Sen to spearhead the Indian challenge in the German Open 2023

The German Open badminton tournament is scheduled to take place from 7 to 12 March 2023 at the Westenergie Sporthalle in Mulheim, Germany. The 2023 German Open will be the fifth tournament of the 2023 BWF World Tour. The Super 300 event has a total prize pool of $210,000. Before the prestigious All England Open, the renowned German Open will see numerous pioneers like Lee Zii Jia, Kunlavudt Vitidsarn, Kodai Naraoka, Lakshya Sen, and Saina Nehwal representing their nation on a big stage.

Former world no.1 Kidambi Srikanth has withdrawn from the German Open tournament, which begins with qualifiers on Tuesday. A finalist in the previous edition, Srikanth’s absence will be a great setback for team India. The 30-year-old Indian shuttler’s absence has given Lakshya Sen a good opportunity to spearhead the Indian challenge. All eyes will be on Sen as he took home the Silver Medal in the last edition.

Sen and Mithun Manjunath, the newly-crowned national champion, Mithun Manjunath will be the top Indian players. Sen, the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medalist, defeated world No.1 Viktor Axelsen in the semifinals, however, he lost the final. The 21-year-old young player will lock horns with French top-seed Christo Popov in the opening round. If the sixth-seeded Indian shuttler survives the first battle, he is expected to cross swords with top-seeded Malaysian Lee Zii Jia in the quarterfinals.

During the European circuit, which includes the All England Championships and German Open, world no.12 Sen will be accompanied by renowned physiotherapist Heath Matthews. Sen, who was part of India’s bronze medal winning team at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship, is set to face the challenges on all three events on the trot, German Open (March 7-12), All England (March 14-19), and Swiss Open (March 21-26).

I am anticipating the quarterfinal match with Lee Zii Jia. I have done everything in my power to prepare for this week in the best possible way, so I am hoping to build some momentum before the All England, Sen admitted while speaking to the media.

Meanwhile, after winning his first national championship, 24-year-old Manjunath will be overjoyed and will look to build on that momentum when he takes on former world champion Loh Kean Yew in the first round. The women’s singles draw also includes Malvika Bansod and Saina Nehwal, as well as the mixed doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy, who competed at the 2022 CWG.