Ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, who are yet to book their respective Tokyo Olympics berths, will be seen in action at the Thailand Open
The Thailand Open, which will be held in Bangkok from January 12 to 17, 2021, will mark return to competition for badminton after a long break due to the pandemic.
Ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, who are still to book their respective Tokyo Olympics berth, will be seen in action at the Thailand Open along with some star international players like local favorite Ratchanok Intanon and Rio 2016 gold medallist Carolina Marin.
Indian shuttlers have started training for the tournament after testing negative for Covid-19. While India has not produced a single's event champion since 2017 at the Thailand Open, it will be an opportunity for the shuttlers to make it count ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
A list of Indian players who have won the Thailand Open title before:
2012 was the year that saw the rise of Saina Nehwal. She started the season by defending her Swiss Open title by defeating Wang Shixian 21–19, 21–16 in the final.
Nehwal, then, went on to win the Thailand Open as she beat favorite Ratchanok Intanon 19–21, 21–15, 21–10 in the title clash.
Nehwal had made a scratchy start and there were occasions in the final when the Indian could not match Intanon's tempo. But she held her nerve and made the most of every error from her opponent's racquet to steal the next two games.
Her fine run in 2012 continued as she beat Li Xuerui, who was unbeaten in 30 matches in the season, to lift the Indonesian Open title.
Kidambi Srikanth burst onto the scene in 2013 as he lifted his maiden title at the Thailand Open with a win over local favourite Boonsak Ponsana in the final.
Srikanth registered a massive upset as he beat his Thai opponent in straight games in a match that lasted 34 minutes.
It turned out to be a lopsided contest as Srikanth outclassed his opponent in all departments.
In the same year, Srikanth also claimed his first senior national title as he beat Indian compatriot and Olympian Parupalli Kashyap at the All India Senior National Championships.
B Sai Praneeth clinched the Thailand Open title in 2017. He defeated Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie 17-21, 21-18, 21-19 in a closely-fought final.
The match saw plenty of twists and turns but Praneeth looked in good touch in the second game and pushed it to the decider.
The decider was a test of nerves as Praneeth and Christie were tied at 19-19. Praneeth, however, bagged two consecutive points to take the match away from his rival.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty clinched the Thailand Open men's doubles title in 2019, making them the first Indian pair to bag a BWF Super 500 title.
They defeated then world champions Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen of China 21-19, 18-21, 21-18 in an hour and two minutes.
The Indian pair started the first game on a positive note but the Chinese came back stronger in the second to take the game to the decider. Satwik-Chirag duo clawed back from 3-6 down in the third game to complete a memorable win.