Top seeds Kidambi Srikanth, P V Sindhu to lead home challenge at Yonex-Sunrise India Open
New Delhi, January 9, 2022
Former champions and top seeds Kidambi Srikanth and P V Sindhu will lead the home challenge in the men’s and women’s section, respectively, in the $ 400,000 Super 500 Yonex-Sunrise India Open badminton tournament to be held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here from January 11 to 16.
Second seed B Sai Praneeth and Dhruv Rawat have tested positive for Covid and hence their names have been withdrawn from the tournament, said the organisers.
The tournament will be played behind closed doors and no spectators will be allowed at the venue keeping in view the strict Covid protocol.
The 10th edition of the tournament, which is being held after a gap of two years following the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, will see participants from 19 countries across five categories vying for the prize purse.
In the men’s section, Srikanth is followed by World bronze winner Lakshya Sen at No. 3. The new world champion Loh Kean Yew, who made history by becoming the first Singaporean to win the marquee event, is seeded fifth.
Besides Sindhu, the women’s singles section also has two-time champion Saina Nehwal (seeded 4th), Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan and Singapore’s up and coming Jia Min Yeo.
Sindhu said that playing without fans would be a bit of a dampener but she was as motivated as anyone to clinch her second tournament title. “I have always looked forward to playing in New Delhi as India Open has always had full house crowd with great atmosphere as winning a tournament at home is always special for any player.”
However, Srikanth hoped that the tournament will provide him the perfect opportunity to build on his World Championship success.
“It’s a long season for all us with the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games scheduled later this year. Starting the season on home turf gives me a perfect opportunity to start the year on a winning note,” said the former World No. 1.
World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen is also keen to leave his mark in his first appearance in the home tournament. “I have always looked forward to playing the India Open. I had to wait for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic but I am confident of putting my best foot forward this week.”
Badminton Association of India (BAI) General Secretary and Organizing Secretary Ajay Singhania was confident that the tournament will be a grand success like the earlier editions.
“The India Open has become an important event on the BWF calendar and we are delighted that the new season will kick-start from here. We have taken all possible precautions for the safety of the players and officials and we will try to engage fans through various online platform and live broadcast on television,” he said.