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Badminton: Sindhu, Saina and Srikanth to lead India’s challenge at All England Open
New Delhi, March 16, 2021
Ace shuttlers PV Sindhu, Sania Nehwal, Kidambi Srikankth and B Sai Praneeth will spearhead India's challenge at the Yonex All England Open to be played at the Arena Birmingham from March 17 to 21.
This year’s edition will again see the best in the game vying for the coveted trophy. The BWF Super 1000 event is in its 113th edition this year.
The Indians will be keen to put their best show ahead of the Tokyo Olympics but the field is very tough with top shuttlers like Carolina Marin, Nozomi Okuhara, Kento Momota and Viktor Axelson in the mix.
In the women’s draw, Sindhu has an easy start, but looks at a potential bout with rival Carolina Marin in the semis. Saina faces a tough start with a clash against Mia Blichfeldt in the opening round.
A tournament win has eluded Sindhu as the World No. 7, who finished runners-up in the preceding Swiss Open. The star athlete has not won a final on the tour since her gold medal-winning run at the World Championships in August 2019 at Basel.
In the men’s draw, expectations are from Srikanth, Praneeth and other experienced players like Parupalli Kashyap, H S Prannoy and Sameer Verma.
In the men’s doubles category, all eyes will be on the in-form duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, ranked World No. 10. They had a semi-final finish at the Swiss Open 2021.
The women’s doubles will see the regular entourage led by Ashwini Ponnappa/N Sikki Reddy, with the pairs of Meghana Jakkampudi/Poorvisha Ram and Ashwini Bhat/Shikha Gautam also in the fray.
The All England Open 2021 is the oldest badminton tournament in the world and also one of the most prestigious. It has been the venue for some of the most iconic moments in badminton including the victory run by Prakash Padukone in 1980 and Pullela Gopichand in 2001.