After early setbacks at the Yonex All England, two past winners of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2019 are keen to re-establish their winning form in New Delhi.
Both Ratchanok Intanon – who won the India Open in 2013 and 2016 – and Pusarla V Sindhu, who was champion here in 2017, suffered unexpected first round exits at their last tournament. But both were hopeful of finding their winning touch on a stage where they have excelled in the past.
“I felt bad about it because I had practised hard. I lost in the All England because of my unforced errors,” said Pusarla.
“I went back and I had another couple of weeks of training. Now I am back here at the India Open. I hope I do much better. I had a few weeks to train and I’m all set. I was the 2017 winner and last year I was the runner-up. But I hope this time I get the title once again,” said the second seed, who will face Hong Kong’s Joy Deng Xuan in the second round.
Intanon, who started the year well with the Malaysia Masters title, hoped to bounce back from her All England disappointment.
“I had lot of expectations from myself, but it is in the past and I can’t do anything about it now,” said the Thai.
“My confidence grows day-by-day when I win. I try to motivate myself and challenge myself and keep
Pusarla will be seen as the title favourite given the home support and in the absence of top seed and All England champion Chen Yufei.
“A lot of the top-ranked players aren’t playing but it won’t be easy because every player has some other (special) strokes, technique or strategy. I have to play in a positive way. I’ll get the home support and that will be an advantage for me.
“Right now I have three back-to-back events. I hope I win them,” said Pusarla, who will be playing in Malaysia and Singapore after the India Open.
Intanon and Pusarla are two of the prominent faces in women’s singles who have emerged over the last six years, and expectations from their home supporters will be high as major events like the World Championships and Tokyo 2020 draw close.
“Women’s singles has changed from the past,” said Intanon.
“Earlier it was only stroke and rally, and experience was important, but now experience is one thing, but you also have to be fast and need to be very strong. It is similar to men’s singles now.
“The level of competition in women’s singles is huge. It is as good as men’s singles. It is an Olympic qualification year and I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I want to win four or five titles this season, but I will first look at reaching the quarterfinals and take it from there.”