India’s badminton queens, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu will reignite their on-field rivalry at home turf for the desirable women’s singles title at the 83rd edition of the Senior National Badminton Championships which begins with the qualifiers on Tuesday.
Undoubtedly, Saina and Sindhu will be the biggest attraction. However, there are some other big names like Kidambi Srikanth, and HS Prannoy missing the tournament due to fitness issues.
Both the women have been India’s biggest achievers over the years and have made India proud several times on international platforms. The duo, finalists at the last edition, have been great achievers including last season.
Sindhu completed the season with a maiden gold at the World Tour Final in December. She reached six finals, including the major events such as Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and World Championship. Saina too has entered four finals, with one resulting in gold at the Commonwealth Games.
History Back Saina
Saina had succeeded in the last edition of the tournament against Sindhu. She went on to get the better off her compatriot at Gold Coast final as well for her second CWG gold.
Saina made a great start to the new BWF season with a title victory at the Indonesia Masters. She will look triumphed in the Nationals for the fourth time. Sindhu would hope to lift the trophy for the third time as well.
As the tournament rules say, the top 8 players, ranked below 50 in the BWF World Rankings as of January 18 in both men’s and women’s singles, will start directly from the pre-quarter-finals of the Super Draw on February 14.
A vacant slot, if left will be filled by players with top BAI Rankings’ for the top 8. Also, they will get a direct entry into the pre-quarters.
In women singles, apart from Sindhu and Saina, Ashmita Chaliha, Shriyanshi Pardeshi, Aruna Prabhudesai, Kanika Kanwal, Sai Uttejitha, and Aakarshi Kashyap, will get direct entries into the pre-quarters.-- Advertisement --
In men’s singles, Sameer Verma, Parupalli Kashyap, and B Sai Praneeth will be joined by SaarLorLux Open winner Subhankar Dey, Chirag Sen, Ansal Yadav, Kartik Jindal, and Bodhit Joshi in the pre-quarterfinals.
It will be the youngsters who would benefit due to the withdrawal of Srikanth and Prannoy.
Pranoy, K Srikanth Injured
Pranoy is recovering from a breathing problem triggered by a gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). He plans to go to Boston, USA, to treat the problem after the All England. Srikanth is battling a discomfort as well. Both of them have decided to skip the event with the All England Championship coming up.
At their place, a fit-again Sameer, former champions Sai Praneeth and Kashyap will be the top stars in men’s singles as the badminton extravaganza returns to Assam’s capital after nine years.
Sameer won three titles and ended his season on a high by qualifying for the BWF World Tour Finals. He is looking forward to winning the title for the second time.
One badminton player to look out for would be 18-year-old Lakshya Sen, who reached semi-finals previous time. He has won a gold medal in the Junior Asian Championship. Moreover, he also won bronze at the World Junior Championship besides winning the TATA Open last year.
In the doubles event, the top 4 teams within the top 50 will be positioned in the quarterfinals. However, it will be an open field with doubles stars Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (injured), N Sikki Reddy and B Sumeeth Reddy (who are getting married) and Ashwini Ponnappa (not playing with any other partner) all missing the event.