India’s women have good prospects at the BWF China Open, but four of its five men’s singles entrants are drawn to play each other in the first round
The Victor China Open 2019 will be held at Changzhou from 17-22 September 2019. It is one of three Badminton World Federation Super 1000 tournaments in which only the world’s top 32 players/teams in each category participate. The other two tournaments are the All England Open and the Indonesia Open.
India has good representation in this elite competition, but will suffer from the draw. Its four men’s singles entrants are drawn to play each other in the first round. A look at India’s top contestants and their prospects:
After winning the World Championship in Switzerland, Sindhu is a hot favourite here. Seeded fifth, she opens her campaign against China’s 2012 Olympic champion Li Xuerui (she has a 3-3 record against her).
Saina Nehwal is seeded eighth. She plays her opener against Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan. Saina should have a smooth sailing until the second round, after which she will face her old nemesis, Tai Tzu-ying.
India’s top-ranked player Kidambi Srikanth and World Championship bronze medallist Sai Praneeth play each other in the first round. The winner will take on China’s Lu Guangzu in the second round, and may well face India’s Parupalli Kashyap in the quarter-final.
Men’s Doubles sensations Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won the Thailand Open gold, but pulled out of the World Championship owing to injuries. The Indian pair’s goal is to reach the quarter-final in each tournament they play from now on, so they can qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In the Women’s Doubles Ashwini Ponappa and Nelakurihi Sikki Reddy take on Taiwan’s Cheng Li-ya and Lee Chih Chen in the first round. In the Mixed Doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa take on Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan and Melavi Octavianti, while Pranaav Chopra and Nelakurihi Sikki Reddy face Germany’s Mark Lamsfuß and Isabel Herttrich in the opening round.