New Delhi: Olympic quarter-finalist and Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist P Kashyap will spearhead a depleted Indian challenge at the Li Ning China Masters starting in Changzhou on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Kashyap, who is currently ranked world number 19, has been seeded eighth in the tournament and has been pitted against a yet-to-be-decided qualifier.

The only Indian in the women's singles draw, in the absence of resting Olympic bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal, would be P V Sindhu who will face American Jamie Subandhi in her opening match.

In men's singles, R M V Gurusaidutt will square off against Malaysian Muhammad Hafiz Hashim. Sourabh Varma will also be up against a Malaysian in Daren Liew.

In the lower half of the draw, Ajay Jayaram and Anand Pawar have been handed tough opening matches. While Jayaram will face third seeded Japanese Kenichi Tago, Pawar will fight it out against second-seeded Chinese Jin Chen.

With Jwala Gutta taking a sabbatical, V Diju will not compete in the event, leaving it to Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa to spearhead the Indian mixed doubles challenge in the event.

The eighth seeds will face Malaysian duo of Jian Guo Ong and Yin Loo Lim.


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