Badminton: Top five young women's singles shuttlers to watch out for in 2024
(Courtesy : DD Sports/NPG)
Unnati Hooda is slowly transitioning into the senior setup.
Within the dynamic landscape of professional badminton, a cohort of burgeoning young female players has emerged, injecting vibrancy and potential into the sport. These rising talents demonstrate a captivating blend of skill, dedication, and resilience on the court. Their agile movements, strategic prowess, and relentless determination captivate audiences, setting the stage for thrilling matchups and awe-inspiring performances.
In recent years, the women’s badminton scene has seen a surge of young and talented players who are challenging the established stars and making a name for themselves. In this article, we will take a look at some of the top young shuttlers to watch out for in 2024, who are poised to take the sport to the next level.
Top young shuttlers to watch out for in 2024
Tomoka Miyazaki, 17, is currently ranked 39th in the senior circuit. She is best known as the 2022 World Junior Champion and in her debut Super 300 tournament in the senior circuit, Korea Masters 2023, she went on to play the final match.
She is regarded as the next “Nozomi Okuhara” by the badminton aficionados. Miyazaki is very agile, has very good court coverage skills, and sharp attacking smashes. She has a 64/11 win-loss record with six titles in 10 finals played including international challenges, series, future series, and junior-level tournaments.
Pitchamon Opatniputh from Thailand is the reigning world junior champion. Thailand has been producing a bunch of women’s singles talent for the last decade and Opatniputh is one of them. She reached the semifinals of Taipei Open 2023 where she defeated the likes of Shun Shuo Yun. She is currently ranked in the 55th spot with seven titles across international challenges, series, and future series along with junior-level titles.
The junior champion has a 93-28 win-loss match record overall. Concerning her gameplay, Opatniputh is very agile and has an outstanding defense with some sharp attacking strokes and is expected to do well in the senior circuit.
The 16-year-old Indian prodigy, Unnati Hooda, has been in talks to fill up the shoes of the legacy that Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu have paved for India in women’s singles discipline. She is currently ranked 56th, with a 69-48 win-loss record. She won Abu Dhabi Masters 2023 marking her second BWF World Tour title after Odisha Open triumph in 2022.
Ester Nurumi Tri Handoyo
Ester Nurumi Tri Handoyo is the 2022 World Junior Championships bronze medalist. She is the younger sibling of Indonesian male shuttler Chico Dwi Wardoyo. At present, the Indonesian has a 94-36 win-loss match record.
Currently ranked 50th, the youngster has won five titles out of the 10 finals played, including international challenges, series, and future series. She was a part of the 2020 Thomas and Uber Cup squad, and in 2021, she was a part of the Sudirman Cup squad.
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Another Indian prodigy, Tanvi Sharma, 14, is expected to continue the women’s singles legacy of India paved by Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. Tanvi Sharma is a 2023 Badminton Asia Junior Championships silver medallist and is also the National Badminton Championships runner-up.
She has shown promise through her game when she beat the likes of WR 40 Aakarshi Kashyap en route to national glory.
- Sarunrak Vitidsarn: She is the 2022 Asian junior champion. The 17-year-old Thai prodigy is the younger sister of reigning world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn. The youngster has 71-15 win-loss record and has won eight out of 13 finals she has played including international challenges, series, future series and junior tournaments.
- Hina Akechi: She is 2019 Asian junior champion. The 18-year-old Japanese prodigy has 83-15 win-loss match record and has won eight titles out of the ten finals competed. Currently, she is ranked world no. 102.
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