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2016 Yonex Sunrise India Open: Top 5 contenders for the women's title

Saina Nehwal
 Saina Nehwal kisses her Gold Medal after winning the final match of Yonex Sunrise India Open 2015 in New Delhi
Abhishek Jain

It’s that time of the year again. All the word’s best badminton players shall assemble in the capital city of India to take part in the 5-day badminton extravaganza scheduled from 29th March to 3rd April 2016 at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.

The Yonex-Sunrise India Open was first scheduled to take place in the year 2007 at Hyderabad. However, the event was called off due to the 25th August Hyderabad bombings.

Since 2008, the event is yearly scheduled with some of the best players taking part in the 5-day tournament. The first 3 editions of the tournament were designated as the Grand Prix Gold events, but 2011 onwards the tournament was upgraded to the BWF Super Series category with every year it taking place at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.

India’s ace shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal will be looking to defend their men’s singles and women’s singles titles respectively, and with two of the top 7 seeded women players(Carolina Marin(1) and Nozomi Okuhara(7)) opting out of the tournament, it can be a great campaign for the 2nd seeded Indian women’s player.

We analyse the top 5 contenders in the women’s singles of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open:

  1. Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal

Nationality: Indian

Age: 25 years

BWF Singles Ranking: 6

India Open Seed: 2

Indian international Saina Nehwal will be looking to defend her women’s singles title at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open Super Series Tournament. The 25-year old Saina also became the first Indian shuttler to reach the top of the BWF women’s singles ranking last year, after she clinched the 2015 India Open BWF Super Series by beating Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.

This would be Saina’s 2nd tournament in this calendar year, she was ousted 21-15, 21-16 by the Chinese Taipei international Tai Tzu Ying in the quarter-finals of the All England Championship held earlier this month.

The 25-year old has to face the challenge posed by her fellow Indian international Tanvi Lad in the first round and would be hoping for an easy passage through to the 2nd round.

  1. Li Xuerui
Li Xuerui
Li Xuerui

Nationality: Chinese

Age: 25 years

BWF Singles Ranking: 2

India Open Seed: 3

Chinese international Li Xuerui will be looking to match her 2012 title winning India Open Super Series performances at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. The number 4 seeded shuttler crashed out at the quarter-final stage of the recently concluded All England Badminton Championships to her fellow Chinese international Wang Shixian.

On contrary to other contenders, Li Xuerui has already won her first title of this calendar year, she went on to win the 2016 German open Grand Prix singles title earlier this year.

The 25-year old will be facing unseeded Japan international Aya Ohori in the first round and should get a comfortable win in order to get through to the 2nd round.
  1. Ratchanok Intanon
Ratchanok Intanon
Ratchanok Intanon

Nationality: Thai

Age: 20 years

BWF Singles Ranking: 5

India Open Seed: 4

Thai international Ratchanok Intanon would be hoping to better her last year’s performance at the India Open where she reached the final but unfortunately, lost the tie 21-16, 21-14 to the Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal.

The 20-year old became the youngest player ever to clinch the BWF World Championships in 2013 at the age of 18 years, 6 months and 6 days by defeating Li Xuerui 22-20, 18–21, 21–14 in the final. She would be hoping to make up for her disappointing loss to Spanish international Carolina Marin (21-17,21-19) at the quarter-final stage of the recently concluded All England Badminton Championships.

She would be facing unseeded Scottish international Kirsty Gilmour in the first round at the India Open and would be hoping for a comfortable passage through to the 2nd round.

  1. Wang Shixian
Wang Shixian
Wang Shixian

Nationality: Chinese

Age: 26 years

BWF Singles Ranking: 4

India Open Seed: 6

Chinese international Wang Shixian had a spectacular start to this calendar year as she reached the final of the All England Badminton Championships but unfortunately, lost the tie 11-21,21-16,19-21 to the Japanese international and the women’s singles title winner Nozomi Okuhara.

She would be hoping to repeat her heroics of the 2014 India Open where she clinched the women’s singles title by defeating her fellow Chinese international Li Xuerui 20-22,19-21 in the final. The 26-year old has to go pass through the challenge posed by unseeded Indian international Gadde Ruthvika Shivani in order to reach the 2nd round.

  1. Tai Tzu Ying
Tai Tzu Ying
Tai Tzu Ying

Nationality: Chinese-Taipei

Age: 21 years

BWF Singles Ranking: 9

India Open Seed: 8

The 21-year old Tai Tzu Ying is fresh from reaching the semi-finals at the recently concluded All England Badminton Championships where she lost the tie 21-23, 21-12, 21-15 to the Chinese international Wang Shixian. She also defeated Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal 21-15,21-16 in the quarter-final on the way to the semi-final stage.

She lost 16-21,19-21 in the first round at the 2014 India Open to Chinese international Yao Xue and would be hoping to go through to the 2nd round with a comfortable win against Hong Kong international Yip Pui Yin.

    Edited by Staff Editor

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