Fuzhou China Open: A guide for Indian badminton fans

A number of India's big stars are set to line up at the Haixia Olympic Sports Center this week.

By Saurabh Shankar ·

With the World Tour Finals a little over a month away, the badminton players and fans alike are gearing up for the showcase BWF Tour event in the Chinese city of Guangzhou.

But before the year-ending finale, there is a lot of exciting badminton this month, with the Fuzhou China Open Super 750 and the Hong Kong Open Super 500 scheduled to be played.

Badminton also returns to India for the first time since August, with the Syed Modi International badminton Championships slated to begin from November 26.

But the first major tournament of the month is the Fuzhou China Open Super 750, scheduled to begin on November 5.

Most of India’s top shuttlers like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth are slated to participate.

So let's take a closer look at India's chances at the event:

Who are Sindhu and Nehwal playing?

In the women’s singles section, all eyes will be on Sindhu and Nehwal, who performed admirably at the French Open.

The reigning world champion Sindhu starts off her campaign on Tuesday against Chinese Taipei's Pai Yu Po.

Li is ranked 42nd in the world in comparison to the Sindhu's position of world number 6.

The pair have met three times before, with Sindhu coming out on top in all three.

If she successfully negotiates her opening tie, Sindhu will then face either Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland or South Korean shuttler Kim Ga Eun in the second round.

Then in the quarterfinals, Sindhu faces an uphill task as she could be paired against top-ranked Tai Tzu Ying or reigning Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin.

Nehwal faces one of the home contingent at the start of her campaign at the Fuzhou China Open.

Her first opponent will be Cai Yan Yan, the 19-year-old who beat PV Sindhu in the quarter finals of the Asia Championships earlier this year.

If she can overcome Cai, world number 9 Nehwal will play either Busanan Ongbamrungphan or Line Kjaersfelt - and could potentially face second-ranked Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals.

In the women’s doubles category, India’s solitary participants are Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy, who are drawn against the 10th-ranked local duo of Li Wenmei and Zheng Yu in the first round.

Saina Nehwal will be in action at the Fuzhou China Open

Which men's players are in Fuzhou?

HS Prannoy will be the first Indian man on court, stepping out to take on Denmark's Rasmus Gemke on Tuesday morning.

It was Gemke who came out on top in their only other previous encounter in the round of 16 at the Japan Open earlier this year. So can Prannoy prevail this time out?

Sameer Verma takes on Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk Yiu in round one whilst Sai Praneeth will pit his wits against veteran Indonesian shuttler Tommy Sugiarto with a potential second round clash against fourth seed Anders Antonsen in waiting.

India's top ranked male, Srikanth Kidambi has pulled out of the tournament.

In the men’s doubles category, Indian hopes will be pinned on French Open runners-up Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who will start against Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew.

It will be the first time they have played the American brothers who are currently ranked ninth in the world, compared to the India pairs 40th position in the world ranking.

Where can I watch the Fuzhou China Open?

Broadcast coverage for the Fuzhou China Open will begin from November 7 on Star Sports.

Both Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 3 will be showing action from Fuzhou starting at 7.30am on Thursday.

Then on Friday, coverage moves to Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 1HD from 9.30am.