After a forgetful outing at last week’s Denmark Open, Indian badminton players will test themselves at the French Open 2021, starting October 26 at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
India returned empty-handed from the Denmark Open, despite boasting of the third-largest contingent. Only double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and world No. 28 Sameer Verma managed to reach the last eight in the singles category.
PV Sindhu, who was playing her first tournament since winning bronze at Tokyo 2020, lost to eventual silver medallist An Se-young of South Korea in the quarter-finals whereas Sameer Verma withdrew after the first game against Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto.
The reigning world champion Sindhu will be starting the French Open as the third seed, behind the Denmark Open winner Akane Yamaguchi of Japan and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon. Tokyo Olympic finalists Chen Yu Fei and Tai Tzu Ying are giving the French Open a miss.
Meanwhile, London 2012 bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will also be looking to get back to winning ways in Paris after a string of below-par performances, including a first-round loss in Denmark.
In the men’s singles, India will be represented by seven shuttlers.
Sameer Verma will be joined by Tokyo Olympian B Sai Praneeth, former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, along with Dutch Open finalist Lakshya Sen, Parupalli Kashyap, HS Prannoy and Sourabh Verma.
Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Viktor Axelsen, who also won the Denmark Open, is seeded No. 1 at the Super 750 tournament in Paris, followed by reigning world champion Kento Momota. No Indian is seeded in the men’s singles.
India will have representation in the doubles events too, with the world No. 10 pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy leading the charge in the men’s category while Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy represent the women’s team.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa will also team up in the mixed doubles.
Where to watch the French Open badminton 2021 live in India?
The French Open 2021 will be telecast live on the Star Sports 3 TV channel in India from October 28.
Live streaming of the French Open badminton tournament will be available on the Disney+Hotstar website and app.
Indian badminton squad for French Open 2021
Men’s singles: B Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, Sameer Verma, Sourabh Verma
Women’s singles: PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal
Men’s doubles: Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila, Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy
Women’s doubles: Meghana Jakkampudi/Poorvisha S Ram, Ashwini Ponnappa/N Sikki Reddy
Mixed doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Ashwini Ponnappa, MR Arjuna/Maneesha K, Dhruv Kapila/N Sikki Reddy