World champion PV Sindhu will try to win the title by taking advantage of the absence of stars in the All England Open Badminton Championships starting in Birmingham on Wednesday, forgetting the defeat in the Swiss Open final. Sindhu has defeated Spain’s Carolina Marin in a one-sided match in the Swiss Open final.
Three-time world champion Marin has withdrawn from the tournament due to injury. Players from China, Korea, and Chinese Taipei will also not play in this Super 1000 tournament, which is not part of the Tokyo Olympic qualification round.
This has made the tournament a little rough, but it has given the 19-member squad of India a chance to perform better.
Apart from Prakash Padukone (1980) and Pullela Gopichand (2001), India could not win any title here. Former world number one Saina Nehwal was the runner-up in 2015. Sindhu reached the semi-finals here in 2018, but no other Indian could progress further than her.
Olympic silver medalist Sindhu will once again be a strong contender for the title, but Saina is not in her best form. She could reach the quarter-finals only twice in the last two years.
Among other Indians, former world number one Kidambi Srikanth and in the doubles category Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty performed well at the Swiss Open and would like to maintain this rhythm.
Fifth seed Sindhu will face Sonia Chia of Malaysia in the first round, while she may take on Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the quarter-finals. London Olympic bronze medalist Saina will face seventh seed Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the first round.