Orleans Masters badminton 2021: Saina Nehwal looks to boost Olympic qualification charge

While PV Sindhu will skip the tourney, Saina Nehwal has received a direct entry in the main draw. Other Indians will be in fray at Orlean Masters. Watch live streaming!

By Utathya Nag

Forced to retire from her first-round match at the All England Open with an injury, India’s Saina Nehwal will be eyeing a strong performance at the Orleans Masters badminton event, which will be held from March 23 to 28 in France.

The London 2012 bronze medallist is the sole Indian with a direct entry to the women's singles main draw at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Super 100 tournament.

Saina Nehwal, seeded fourth in the tournament, will be up against Malaysian shuttler Kisona Selvaduray in her first-round clash.

PV Sindhu, who reached the All England Open 2021 semi-finals, will be sitting the event out.

Ira Sharma and Aakarshi Kashyap, though, will look to join Saina Nehwal in the main draw but will have to navigate the qualifying rounds first.

In men's singles, there'll be heavy Indian participation. Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy will lead the charge and all three have received first-round byes.  Watch the Orleans Masters live in India!

MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will be India's top draws in men's doubles while Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will be the ones to look out for in women's doubles.

B Sai Praneeth, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are not in the entry list for the tournament.

The Orleans Masters badminton 2021 is categorised as an Olympic qualifying tournament. It means points earned from the event count towards the players’ Race to Tokyo Rankings - the programme which will eventually decide qualification and seedings for the upcoming Summer Games in July.

The Swiss Open earlier this month was the first such event after the COVID-19 break.

All Indian players, especially Saina Nehwal, will be looking to make the most of the opportunity at the Orleans Masters and garner some all-important points.

Saina was knocked out in the very first round at the Swiss Open, failing to consolidate her position in the rankings.

Where to watch the Orleans Masters badminton live in India?

Live streaming of the Orleans Masters 2021 will be available on the badminton tournament’s official website orleansmasters.com. Live stream will also be available on the French Badminton Federation’s official YouTube channel.

There is no live telecast of the Orleans Masters on any TV channel in India.

Orleans Masters 2021 draw for Indian badminton players

Women’s singles

Saina Nehwal vs Kisona Selvaduray (Malaysia)

Women’s singles qualifying

Aakarshi Kashya vs Yaelle Hoyaux (France)

Ira Sharma vs Lee Ying Ying (Malaysia)

Men’s singles

Kidambi Srikanth - first round bye

HS Prannoy - first round bye

Parupalli Kashyap - first round bye

Siril Verma - first round bye

Chirag Sen - first round bye

Ajay Jayaram vs Kalle Koljonen (Finland)

Kiran George vs Mark Caljouw (Netherlands)

Subhankar Dey vs Ditlev Jaeger Holm (Denmark)

Men’s singles qualifying

Mithun Manjunath vs Youcef Sabri Medel (Algeria)

Rahul Yadav Chittaboina vs Shreyansh Jaiswal (India)

B.M. Rahul Bharadwaj vs Mohamed Abderrahime Belarbi (Algeria)

Alap Mishra vs Julien Carraggi (Belgium)

Women’s doubles

Ashwini Ponnappa/N Sikki Reddy vs Amalie Magelund/Freja Ravn (Denmark)

Anto Agna/Ashna Roy vs Yulfira Barkah/ Febby Valencia Dwijayanti Gani (Indonesia)

Men’s doubles

M.R. Arjun/Dhruv Kapila vs Matthew Clare/Ethan Van Leeuwen (England)

Men’s doubles qualifying

Krishna Prasad Garaga/Vishnu Vardhan vs Kristian Høholdt Kræmer/Marcus Rindshøj (Denmark)

Mixed doubles

Pranaav Jerry Chopra/N Sikki Reddy vs Julien Maio/Lea Palermo (France)

Dhruv Kapila/Ashwini Ponnappa vs Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock (England)