The tournament will see several high-profile shuttlers battle it out for the top honours.
The India Open 2022 is set to begin on January 11, 2022 at the K.D. Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi. The tournament will begin the BWF World Tour 2022 season. There are huge expectations before the start of the tournament in the capital city. It will see top-level Indian shuttlers in action in multiple categories.
The event will be held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be many restrictions amidst surging positive cases of coronavirus. The whole English contingent withdrew from the India Open 2022 after two members tested positive ahead of the tournament. Furthermore, Indian shuttlers Sai Praneeth and Dhruv Rawat also had to withdraw after contracting the virus.
Despite some withdrawals, the tournament is set to go ahead regardless. With eyes firmly on the tournament, let’s take a look at the top five stars who will headline the India Open 2022:
5. Busanan Ongbamrungphan
The women’s singles bracket is going to see stiff competition when the India Open 2022 begins. One of the major contenders to go all the way is Busanan Ongbamrungphan. The Thai shuttler is the second seed coming into the tournament and will hope to emerge as the winner.
The world No.12 badminton player in the women’s rankings will hope to begin the season with a positive performance. She reached the quarter-finals in the 2019 edition. Coming up against compatriot Ratchanok Intanon, she conceded defeat by a 21-18, 21-19 scoreline.
4. Lakshya Sen
A lot of eyes will be on Lakshya Sen in the men’s singles draw. The third seed will be one of the strongest contenders to win the bracket, considering his form. Sen created history by winning the bronze medal at the BWF World Championships 2021. The youngster reached the semi-final where he faced fellow compatriot Kidambi Srikanth.
It was the first time when two Indian male shuttlers made it to the semis of the World Championships. The 20-year-old is one of the brightest upcoming players in the badminton circuit. He will hope to carry his form and start the season well at the India Open 2022. In an exclusive interview with Khel Now, he has revealed that he is looking forward to starting the season well with this tournament.
3. Loh Kean Yew
Loh Kean Yew is the reigning world champion after winning gold at the BWF World Championship 2021. By doing so, he became the first shuttler from Singapore to achieve the feat. He is currently ranked 15 in the world, which is also his highest ranking. His form precedes his world ranking, which will certainly improve over time.
Make no mistake, Loh Kean Yew is a strong contender to go all the way in men’s singles at the India Open 2022. He is the fifth seed and this will be the first time he will contest at the tournament.
2. Kidambi Srikanth
Kidambi Srikanth will pose the strongest challenge by an Indian in the men’s singles category at the India Open 2022. He is coming into the tournament on the back of creating history for the nation. Srikanth became the first-ever male shuttler to reach the final and win the silver medal at the BWF World Championship in 2021.
He is the number one seed coming into the tournament. The pressure will be on Srikanth to deliver as the expectations are high. With Sai Praneeth’s (second seed) withdrawal, more expectations will be on Srikanth to deliver and begin the tour with a strong performance.
1. PV Sindhu
Regarded as one of the best individual athletes for India at the Olympics, PV Sindhu will headline India’s challenge at the upcoming India Open 2022. The world No.7 will be the outright favourite to win the women’s singles bracket. However, she will face a stiff challenge from the likes of Busanan Ongbamrungphan, third seed Yeo Jia Min and fourth seed Saina Nehwal.
Being the number one seed herself, Sindhu will like to begin the season with a win. Her bronze medal win at the Tokyo Olympics made her the first-ever Indian woman to win two Olympic medals. The former world No.2 is surely the biggest attraction at the India Open 2022.