With the BWF World Championship signalling its entry later this month, ace Indian shuttlers are psyched up to shuttle to a new high.
While the Satwiksairaj Reddy-Chirag Shetty duo look formidable compared to other teams, ace shuttlers like HS Prannoy, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will be determined to make an indelible mark in this mega sporting extravaganza. Others like Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma and B. Sai Praneeth, too will be participating in the men’s singles event at the championships.
Seventh-seeded Kidambi Srikanth will look forward to edge out Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen in men’s singles in the first round of BWF World Championship. Kidambi, provided that he makes it to the quarters, will play against second-seeded Chou Tien of Taiwan. Similarly, tenth-seeded Sameer Verma will play Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in the first round of the men’s singles championship, and Chou Tien Chian of Taiwan in the third round only to face arch-rival Srikanth in the quarters, if at all he qualifies.
Among others in the men’s singles, Sai Praneeth, presently ranked 16th, will face Jason Anthony Hoe-Shue in the 1st round. Praneeth has to breeze past Jason Anthony and Anthony Ginting to play against Jonathan Christie in quarter finals. Indian shuttler HS Prannoy, who received a late call for the tournament following withdrawals by former world champion Viktor Axelsen and China’s Shi Yuqi will eye on nosing past Eetu Heino of Finland, as he might to have turn the tables on fate to beat the World No. 93.
Fifth-seed Sindhu is likely to face second-seed Tai Tzu Ying in the quarter-finals while Saina who’s seeded eighth could come up against Chinese fourth-seed Chen Yu Fei at the last eight stage. Both Saina and Sindhu are in separate halves of the draw and won’t be meeting each other unless both make it to the final.
Men’s doubles players Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chirag Shetty have got a bye in the opening round. There is, however, a possibility that the duo will face the Indonesian pair of Muhammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiwan, while Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy face Thom Gicquel and Ronan Labar in the opening round before a potential meeting with Chinese pair Han Cheng Kai and Zhou Hao Dong. In women’s doubles, the Ashwini Ponappa-Sikki Reddy pair will face Chang Ching and Yang Chin, and Do Yue & Li Yun Hai in the first and second round respectively.
Mixed doubles pair Pranaav Chopra and Sikki Reddy will face the English pair of Ben Lane and Jessica Pugh in the opening round, followed by Tan Kian & Lai Pei in the second round.
Defending champion Carolina Marin has withdrawn from the BWF World Championships to after failing to recover completely from the knee injury that she suffered during the Indonesia Masters final in January earlier this year. Denmark’s Victor Axelsen, too withdrew from the World Championship citing a back injury while China’s Shi Yuqi suffered an ankle injury at the Indonesia Open Super 1000 event last month and had to pull out.