PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth are all set to lead the 14-member Indian contingent at the 2019 Denmark Open or Danisa Denmark Open 2019 at the Odense Sports Park in Odense, Denmark from 15 to 20 October 2019. While PV Sindhu will hope for a breakthrough in the Super 750 level tournament, Srikanth will aim to reclaim the title after winning his maiden Denmark Open trophy in 2017.
The Indian squad also consisted of Srikanth, Sai Praneeth, Parupalli Kashyap, Sourabh Verma and Sameer Verma, who will feature in men’s singles action, starting from Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Thailand Open champions team Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be seen in doubles action along with the team of Attri Manu-Reddy B. Sumeeth, Ashwini Ponappa-Sikki Reddy.
India has won a total of three singles titles across the history of Denmark Open, the first of which was won by the most decorated Indian shuttler Prakash Padukone in 1980 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Let’s take a walk down the memory lane of India’s success at the prestigious badminton event.
Indian’s history in the event
Prakash Padukone (Winner – 1980)
The former World No.1 and Arjuna and Padma Shri awardee Prakash Padukone was the first badminton player from the nation to win the Gold medal at the Denmark Open in 1980 in the singles event. He also achieved the No.1 spot in the world rankings in the same year.
Padukone has spent much of his international career training in Denmark. The ace shuttler acclimatized himself well to the cold weather in the Scandinavian country and claimed the Denmark Open title, which is also one of the major achievements of his career.
Srikanth Kidambi (Winner – 2017, Semifinals – 2018)
The former world No.1 claimed his maiden BWF World Superseries Premier title at the 2017 Denmark Open after cruising past through the Korean Lee Hyun-il 21-10, 21-5 in the finals.
At the 2017 edition of the Denmark Open, Kidambi defeated his compatriot and qualifier Shubhankar Dey in the opening round before facing a tough challenge against Korea’s Jeon Hyeok-jin – defeating him in close three games. Srikanth then came back from a break down to defeat the local hero Viktor Axelsen to reach the semifinals of the event. Kidambi lifted his level in the last four defeating Wong Wing Ki in straight games to reach the title match.
Last year, Srikanth failed to defend his title as he failed to reach the finals, tasting a straight-game defeat 16-21, 12-21 at the hands of second seed and eventual champion Kento Momota in the semifinals.
Saina Nehwal (Winner – 2012, Runner-up – 2018)
Saina Nehwal is the most successful Indian shuttler at the history of Denmark Open. Nehwal became the first Indian woman to win the title in Denmark in 2012. Saina Nehwal, who was seeded third at the 2012 Denmark Open crushed the No.1 seed Wang Yihan in the Semifinals and No.6 seed Juliane Schenk in Final. Nehwal certainly dominated the tournament as she did not lose a single game in her course to the title.
At the 2018 Denmark Open, Saina Nehwal was unseeded but she battled through to the finals, upsetting the No.2 seed and No.8 seed in the second round and quarterfinals before falling short against the No.1 seed Tai Tzu-Ying in the title match.
PV Sindhu (Runners-up -2015)
The World No.6 PV Sindhu was not seeded at the 2015 Denmark Open but the 24-year-old did not lose a single game till the semifinals. She upset the No.3 seed Tai Tzu-Ying and No.6 seed Wang Yihan in the second round and the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, Sindhu faced a tough challenge against ace shuttler and No.2 seed Carolina Marin in the semifinals. However, she defeated the Spaniard in a thrilling three-game. PV Sindhu had to satisfy with the silver medal as she lost to Li Xuerui in the finals.
Parupalli Kashyap (Semifinals – 2014)
Arjuna awardee Parupalli Kashyap has not won a title at Denmark Open, however, the Indian shuttler was achieved his best performance at the superseries event in Denmark after he reached the semifinals in 2014.
The unseeded Kashyap started the tournament on a high note before making it to the headlines after defeating the No.3 seed and local hero Jan O. Jorgensen in the quarterfinals. However, Parupalli Kashyap could not continue his dream run as he was defeated by second-seed and eventual champion, Chen Long in the semifinals.