Top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen have a tough test waiting for them at the All England Open Badminton Championships 2022, which will be held in Birmingham, UK from March 16 to 20.
India will have nine singles badminton players (seven men’s and two women’s) and six doubles teams (three men’s, two in mixed and one in women’s) competing at All England Open 2022.
Another Indian shuttler, Srivedya Gurazada, will compete with American partner Ishika Jaiswal. Gurazada and Jaiswal together won the Mexican Open doubles title last year.
Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, who reached the All England semi-finals in 2018 and 2021, will be eyeing her maiden title this year. The All England is one major badminton title still missing from the former world champion’s trophy cabinet.
PV Sindhu, the world No. 7 in the current badminton rankings, starts her campaign against Chinese world No. 17 Wang Zhi Yi in the first round of women’s singles.
Another Indian Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal is also in the same half as PV Sindhu and will be starting her campaign with a tricky first round fixture against world No. 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand. A win for the world No. 25 Indian may see her cross swords against reigning world champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the second round.
PV Sindhu, the sixth seed in the tournament, will have to tackle either Saina Nehwal or Akane Yamaguchi in the quarters if she makes it to the final eight. Saina is unseeded.
Lakshya Sen: India’s new men’s badminton No. 1
In men’s singles, the young Lakshya Sen will be India’s biggest hope. The 20-year-old has been in top form since clinching the world championships bronze medal last year and won the India Open in January. Lakshya also made the final of the German Open last week.
Lakshya Sen’s first assignment at the All England will be against fellow countryman Sourabh Verma and his probable second round opponents are world No. 3 Anders Antonsen or current world champion Loh Kean Yew. Lakshya had beaten Yew in the India Open final.
The world No. 11 Lakshya Sen is currently the top Indian men’s singles player in the badminton world rankings, having leapfrogged his senior compatriot Kidambi Srikanth after his German Open exploits.
World No. 12 Kidambi Srikanth’s first round match will be against Thai world No. 21 Kantaphon Wangcharoen. The winner of this match will play the winner of Parupalli Kashyap and world No. 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
B Sai Praneeth and HS Prannoy also got tough draws. Praneeth will have to contend with world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen while Praneeth’s first opponent is German Open champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
India’s top-rated doubles players Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will face Scotland’s Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall in the first round of men’s doubles and could run into Indonesian world No. 1 Kevin Sukamuljo and Marcus Gideon in the quarters.
Chirag and Satwik had pulled out of the German Open at the last minute due to injury concerns.
Only two Indians have ever won the All England Open - Prakash Padukone in 1980 and Pullela Gopichand in 2001.
Where to watch the All England Open Badminton Championships 2022 live in India?
Live streaming of the All England Open Badminton Championships 2022 will be available on the subscription-based Voot Select platform and Jio TV in India. Matches start on March 16 from 2:30 PM IST (Indian Standard Time).
The All England Open will also be telecast live on MTV and VH1 TV channels in India.
All England Open 2022: Indian badminton players
Women’s singles: PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal
Men’s singles: Kidambi Srikanth, Lakshya Sen, HS Prannoy, B Sai Praneeth, Sourabh Verma, Parupalli Kashyap, Sameer Verma
Women’s doubles: Ashwini Ponnappa/N Sikki Reddy, Srivedya Gurazada/Ishika Jaiswal (USA)
Men’s doubles: Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rakireddy, M.R. Arjun/Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad Garage/Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala
Mixed doubles: Ishaan Bhatnagar/Tanisha Crasto, Gaurav Prasad/Juhi Dewanagan