The India Open will be the final Super 500 series event before the April 26 cut-off date for qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.
World no. 5 Dane Viktor Axelsen and top-ranked Chinese women’s shuttler Chen Yu Fei will headline several top players, including Indian badminton players PV Sindhu and B Sai Praneeth, at the India Open.
The Super 500 event holds extra importance for both the world and Indian badminton players as it is the final big tournament before April 26, the cut-off date for the 2020 Olympics qualification.
Gold medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games Parupalli Kashyap, HS Prannoy, Sourabh Verma, Sameer Verma and promising youngster Lakshya Sen will be the other Indian badminton players hoping to do well at their home tournament.
The women’s event will see as many as eight of the top ten ranked badminton players, with Akane Yamaguchi, He Bing Jiao, An Se Young, Michele Li to feature alongside three-time India Open champion Ratchanok Intanon and Rio 2016 gold medallist Carolina Marin.
The top-ranked players will also be looking to improve their seeding ahead of the 2020 Olympics in hopes of getting a favourable draw at the marquee event.
The competitive field will provide a great platform for Indian badminton star PV Sindhu, who won the title in 2017, to test herself against some of the best in the business as she returns after the Premier Badminton League.
After leading their respective teams to the Premier Badminton League semi-finals recently, Indian badminton’s newest stars, the doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will finally play together.
They could have teamed up at the Badminton Asia Team Championships but Satwiksairaj Rankireddy had pulled out due to an injury. Their most fierce opponents will be up the fourth-ranked Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will also play in the mixed doubles along with Ashwini Ponnappa while the pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will also feature at the India Open.
Indian badminton will have only one women’s doubles pair at the event as N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa team up to gather some important experience playing against the top players.