Sindhu chases elusive All England Open title in depleted field

Source : IANS 2021-03-16 19:14:19

Badminton world champion PV Sindhu will be looking to take advantage of a depleted field as she leads the Indian challenge at the All England Open Badminton Championships which starts on Wednesday. Sindhu is one of 16 Indian players who will take part at the prestigious Super 1000 tournament.

Sindhu, who raced to the final of the Swiss Open Super 300 tournament earlier this month without dropping a game, crashed to a 21-12, 21-5 defeat to Spanish Olympic champion Carolina Marin. Marin, however, pulled out of the Championships on Tuesday due to an injury she suffered at the Swiss Open and with the absence of other top ranked players from China and Chinese Taipei, fifth seed Sindhu is among the favourites to win the title. Her biggest challenge would be against Japanese duo Nozomi Okuhara and Akane Yamaguchi, seeded second and third respectively.

Sindhu faces Soniia Cheah of Malaysia in her first round match and could face Yamaguchi in the quarter-finals.

London 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will be looking to shake off her poor form and daves Swiss seventh seed Mia Blichfeldt in her first round match. Unlike Sindhu, who is ranked seventh in the Race to Tokyo Olympic qualification rankings, Saina, ranked 22nd, is facing a race against time to seal qualification. Saina has to break into the top 16 to qualify for this year's Tokyo Olympics and while this year's All England Championships is not included in the qualification calendar, she can gain some momentum with a good result in London.