With November rapidly ticking in, the badminton season gets a fresh new lease early in the month. Rustling things up right at the beginning is the Fuzhou China Open Super 750 which begins on 5th November and will conclude on the 10th. The 19th BWF World Tour 2019 tournament on the calendar, the China Open boasts of a $700,000 purse. The Haixia Olympics Sports Center in Fuzhou will become home for the tournament over the next couple of days as the top shuttlers battle it out for the coveted title.
The China Open, which was previously known as the China Masters before it was inducted into the BWF Super Series category, has been the hunting ground for medals for the Indians. With near-miss performances every year, our shuttlers have often grappled for a medal in this tournament. Heading to China after pulling off scratchy matches in the past four tournaments in China, Korea, and Denmark before somewhat lifting their level in the French Open last month, there is a lot of making up to do for the Indians.
Kidambi Srikanth, who was headlining the men’s contingent for India pulled out at the last hour. He was scheduled to open his bid against the 2018 champion and World Number 1 Kento Momota. Srikanth, who isn’t enjoying his best year on the tour has decided to skip the China Open and participate in the upcoming Hong Kong World Tour Super 500. However, on the women’s front, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal are ready to charge ahead and conquer new territories.
There are sky-high expectations from both the Hyderabadi and the Haryanvi badminton stars as they bear the torch towards bringing home a medal for India. Sindhu, the reigning World Champion has been struggling with her form and her quarter-final fight against Tai-Tzu Ying in the French Open was a delight to watch, albeit Sindhu losing by a close margin. Nehwal will also look to bring more productive performances and make her matches count in China. Sindhu will open her campaign against Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yo Po while Nehwal will open her bid against Cai Yan Yan. Sindhu, can potentially face Carolina Marin or Tai-Tzu Ying in the quarters while Nehwal stands the threat of meeting second seed, Akane Yamaguchi in later rounds.
The Indian contingent will also have high expectations from the duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty who recently bagged the silver at the French Open. Other than that, there is also B Sai Praneeth on whom there are a lot of hopes riding now that Srikanth is missing from the scene. The bronze medalist at the World Championships, Sai Praneeth will be shouldering the hope in the men’s category along with Sameer Verma, Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy for company.
In the men’s doubles, we also have the pair of Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy who hope to put up a decent performance. In the mixed doubles category, there is Satwiksairaj/Ashwini Ponnappa and Praanav Jerry Chopra/ Sikki Reddy who will head into the China Open with determination. On the women’s doubles front, there is Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy who will also try to elevate their performance in the tournament.
Schedule: The tournament will run from November 5 to November 10. All Round 1 games will be held on the first two days, with the finals scheduled for November 10.
When and where to watch
The Fuzhou China Open Super 750 2019 will be aired on the Star Sports Network, with Jio TV live streaming the competition as well.