Singapore Open champion Sai Praneeth faces tough opening-round test at Indonesia Open 2017 as he faces world number one Men's singles shuttler Son Wan Ho in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Praneeth, the world number 15, heads into the tournament on the back of winning two titles on the trot - Singapore Open and SCG Thailand Open, which came earlier this month. On the other hand, second seed Son was part of Korean team, which stunned China in the final of Sudirman Cup 2017.
Praneeth, the top-ranked Men's singles shuttler from India, has been in sublime form in the ongoing season, which he started with a runner-up finish at Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold. In Singapore, he won his first Superseries title with wins over Qiao Bin, Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and Sai Praneeth enroute to the top step of the podium. The 25-year-old did not drop a game in Thailand until the final match, in which he defeated Indonesia's Jonatan Christie in a three-game outing.
However, Praneeth faces a stiff test in Jakarta and he needs to be at his best on Wednesday to avoid an early exit. Notably, the Indian shuttler lost to Son in their only meeting as last year's Korea Open.
Praneeth though can take heart from Son's recent form, which has seen him struggle at Superseries tournaments, unlike last year. The Korean shuttler has suffered first-round exits at All England and India Open, in which he lost to Praneeth's compatriot Sameer Verma as early as in the first-round.
Son managed a run to the semi-final in Malaysia, but another early exit followed him in Singapore. There is pressure on the 29-year-old, especially after a series of poor results, and the South Korean can be in for a shock if he takes his first-round opponent lightly on Wednesday.