India's top badminton players minus two-time Olympic bronze medallist P.V Sindhu, will be battling it out for top honours in a strong field in the French Open International badminton championship starting here on Tuesday.
Sindhu, the 2021 semifinalist, was scheduled to play in the event but withdrew from the tournament which will end on October 30.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist and World Championship bronze medallist Lakshya Sen will be hoping to improve upon his performance in the Denmark Open, in which he reached the quarterfinals, at this BWF World Tour Super 750 to be played at Stade Pierre de Coubertin here.
Besides Sen, the top-ranked Indian in the men's singles draw, the other Indians in the fray in the men's singles section of the event with a total prize fund of USD 675,000 are former French Open winner Kidambi Srikanth, Thomas Cup winner H.S Prannoy and Sameer Verma.
However, the Indians have a tough draw in men's singles with Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth running into each other in the first round itself. Prannoy starts against Daren Liew of the United States and is likely to run into Japan's fifth seed Kento Momota, who starts against China's Lu Guang Zu, in the second round. Sameer Verma takes on sixth seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, the Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medallist.
In the women's section, former World No.1 Saina Nehwal will start her campaign against Yvonne Li of Germany, who at 23 is ranked higher than the Indian (32).
In Men's doubles, India's top doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty is seeded 7th and will meet Bulgaria-born French siblings pair of Christo Popov and Toma Junior Popov.
M.R Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, the second Indian pair in the men's doubles, will open their campaign against fifth-seeded Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia.
In women's doubles, Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand run into sixth-seeded Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand in a first-round encounter.
In the mixed doubles, the Indian pair of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto will start against the Japanese pair of Kyohei Yamashita and Naru Shinoya in the first round.