Top seeds PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will be looking to begin the new badminton season on a high at the India Open 2022, which starts on Tuesday at the KD Jadhav Indoor Sports Hall in New Delhi.
Both PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth come on the back of successful individual campaigns in 2021.
World No. 7 PV Sindhu won the bronze medal at Tokyo 2020, her second Olympic medal, and a BWF World Tour Finals silver. She also made the final at the Denmark Open and reached the semis at the French Open, Indonesia Open and Indonesia Masters in Bali.
PV Sindhu is aiming to win four big tournaments - the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, All England and world championships - in 2022 and will be looking for a positive start to the year with a first BWF World Tour title since 2018. She did win the world championships in 2019, but the worlds are not considered a part of the BWF World Tour.
PV Sindhu starts her India Open campaign against fellow Indian shuttler Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli, the current world No. 118.
Kidambi Srikanth, meanwhile, had a rough start to 2021 as he missed the cut for the Tokyo Olympics. However, he was rejuvenated in the second half, making it to the Hylo Open and Indonesia Masters semis.
In what is probably his biggest accomplishment thus far, Kidambi Srikanth became the first Indian man to make it to the final of the world championships, eventually winning the silver medal after falling to Singapore’s Kean Yew Loh.
The result helped Kidambi Srikanth break into the top 10 in the BWF rankings for the first time since November 2019. The Indian ace faces countryman Siril Verma, the world No. 86, in the first round of men’s singles at the India Open.
Doubles pair Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will also be seen in action as will Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, who is making a competitive return after a few months on the sidelines due to injury.
However, Saina Nehwal’s husband Parupalli Kashyap is out for three months because of a calf tear and will miss the tournament as will former worlds bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth after he tested COVID-positive.
Olympian pair and fifth seeds Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy have withdrawn from the men’s doubles. Their Norwegian opponents Torjus Flaatten and Vegard Rikheim have received a bye to the next round.
The India Open 2021 was cancelled due to COVID-19. This year’s tournament will be played behind closed doors without any fans.