The Thailand Open, the first badminton tournament of 2021, starts from January 12 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.
Barring youngster Lakshya Sen, who pulled out due to injury, the tournament will feature all top Indian badminton players, including Olympic medallists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. Fans can watch the Thailand Open badminton tournament on TV and live streaming in India.
Both Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu will be returning to competitive badminton after a 10-month-long COVID-enforced hiatus. They last played in the All England Open in March 2020.
Saina Nehwal, a women's singles Thailand Open winner, in 2012, was due to open her campaign against world No. 4 Nozomi Okuhara. However, with the entire Japanese team opting out due to COVID-19 concerns, the London 2012 bronze medallist will now face Malaysia's Kisona Selvaduray in the first round.
Reigning women's world champion and Rio 2016 silver medallist PV Sindhu, meanwhile, faces Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt in her first match.
PV Sindhu, currently world No. 7 in Badminton World Federation (BWF) Rankings, will be the favourite against former European Games champion.
In the men's event, former world No. 1 and 2012 Thailand Open men's champion Kidambi Srikanth will start his campaign against fellow Indian shuttler Sourabh Verma.
Whoever wins, may come up against another Indian HS Prannoy, if he sees off Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia in his first round match.
Saina's husband Parupalli Kashyap, was set to face Japanese ace Kento Nishimoto in the initial draw but with the Japanese contingent's withdrawal, will now face Canada's Jason Anthony Ho-Shue in his first match.
B Sai Praneeth, who won the 2017 edition, will open his campaign against Thai shuttler Kantaphon Wangcharoen and may run into world No. 4 Viktor Axelsen in round 2.
There will be a lot to look forward to in doubles and mixed doubles as well.
India's top men's pairing, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy - men's doubles champions at the 2019 Thailand Open - will be in action and so will be the top-rated women's team of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy.
Points accumulated from the Super 1000 tournament will aid the players’ bid to qualify for the season-concluding 2020 BWF Tour Finals, to be held later this month.
However, it won't have any bearing on the Tokyo Olympics qualification process as points earned here won't count in the Race to Tokyo Rankings.
Thailand Open 2021 badminton schedule and fixtures for Indian shuttlers
The Yonex Thailand Open gets underway on Tuesday, January 12, and will run till Sunday, January 17.
Women’s singles first round fixtures
PV Sindhu vs Mia Blichfeldt
Saina Nehwal vs Kisona Selvaduray
Men’s singles first round fixtures
Kidambi Srikanth vs Sourabh Verma
Parupalli Kashyap vs Jason Anthony Ho-Shue
B Sai Praneeth vs Kantaphon Wangcharoen
HS Prannoy vs Lee Zii Jia
Sameer Verma vs Shesar Hiren Rhustavito
Women’s doubles first round fixtures
Ashwini Ponnappa/ N Sikki Reddy vs Kim So Yeong/Kong Hee Yong
Men’s doubles first round fixtures
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty vs Kim Gi Jung/Lee Yong Dae
Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy vs Weeraphat Phakjarung/Wongsathorn Thongkham
MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila vs Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi
Mixed doubles first round fixtures
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Ashwini Ponnappa vs Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Widjaja
B Sumeeth Reddy/N Sikki Reddy vs Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet
Where to watch the Thailand Open live in India?
The Yonex Thailand Open badminton matches will be telecast live in India on the Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 2 HD TV channels. Broadcast starts from January 12, 7:30 AM Indian Standard Time (IST).
Live streaming of the Thailand Open badminton will be available on Disney+ Hotstar OTT platform.