The tournament will mark the return of the sport following the COVID-19 pandemic.

International badminton will kickoff once again after a break of nearly 10 months with the Thailand Open being played in Bangkok from Tuesday.

The All England Open in March last year was the last big tournament which was played before the COVID-19 pandemic brought an abrupt end to the Racquet sport. However, the tournament has seen the Japanese and Chinese athletes pull out.

Star shuttler PV Sindhu will lead the Indian contingent in Bangkok and would be keen to make a mark in the event. Meanwhile, Sindhu is likely to meet her Indian counterpart Saina Nehwal at the quarterfinal stage, if both of them manage to win their respective matches before the fixture. Both athletes have prepared individually with their respective funds and the quarterfinal clash is expected to be a mouthwatering one.

The tour finals is set to be hosted at the same venue on January 27th. Unfortunately, none of the female players would be eligible to play in the finals. Former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth is the lone Indian player to qualify for the finals.

Before that, he faces a stern test against compatriot Sourabh Verma in the first round of the Bangkok Open. On the other hand, Sourabh’s   brother Sameer is set to play the Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in the second round, if the young Indian overcomes his first battle. HS Prannoy is set to play Zi Jia Lee of Malaysia in the first round.

Meanwhile, Sai Praneeth will take on Kanthapon Wangcharoen, whereas Parupalli Kashyap is set to play Jonathan Christie of Indonesia in the second round.

India will have three pairs of Men’s doubles in the tournament. Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chiraj Shetty will be the first team. Whereas, the second pair will comprise of Sumeeth and Manu Attri, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will be the third pair.

Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki will be the only Women Indian doubles representatives in the calendar opener.

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