The much-awaited 2021 All England Open is all set to begin today, March 17. In its 113th edition now, the prestigious tournament – oldest in the sport – will see top Indian shuttlers in Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, among others, begin their campaign today.
India have sent a 19-member contingent to the 2021 All England Open. Out of the 19, the men's singles section will feature six Indians in action - Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, B. Sai Praneeth, Parupalli Kashyap, Lakshya Sen and Sameer Verma.
Since Pullela Gopichand in 2001, none of the Indian shuttlers have won the BWF Super 1000 event. However, the absence of China and Chinese Taipei players from this year's tournament gives the Indian shuttlers an opportunity to win the championship.
Srikanth and Kashyap handed tricky challenges at the All England Open 2021
The first-round action at the 2021 All England Open will see World No. 13 Kidambi Srikanth take on Indonesia's World No. 30 Tommy Sugiarto. The duo share an interesting rivalry – both players have three wins each out of their six meetings so far.
The former World No. 1, Srikanth, who made it to the semi-finals of the 2021 Swiss Open, will be looking to complete a hat-trick victory over Sugiarto. Srikanth has triumphed in the last two meetings against the Indonesian.
Parupalli Kashyap, ranked 26th in the world, has an even trickier challenge. He is slated to go up against World No. 1 Kento Momota.
Momota, the 2019 All England Open champion, is making a comeback to the tour after a one-year layoff due to the disrupted badminton calendar. Although Kashyap has never been able to win against Momota (the head to head stands at 0-4), the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist has to stay alert for any opportunity that might present itself.
Another notable match-up in the first round at the 2021 All England Open will have World No. 31 HS Prannoy take on World No. 33 from Malaysia, Daren Liew. In recent meetings, it has been Liew who has emerged victorious against Prannoy (the duo share a 3-3 head-to-head record).
Lakshya Sen will also be in action on the opening day. He will take on Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen. Sameer Verma will be locking horns with Brazil's Ygor Coelho and Olympic-hopeful B. Sai Praneeth will clash against Frenchman Toma Popov.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty hungry for win at the All England Open 2021
Seeded sixth at the 2021 All England Open, the dynamic duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be looking to end their title drought. After a semi-final finish at the 2021 Swiss Open, the India No. 1 men's doubles pair will look to cash in on their good form. They will face the French duo of Eloi Adam and Julien Maio.
Owing to a last-minute snag in COVID-19 results of the players, the All England Open 2021 schedule has been slightly delayed. Matches are expected to begin at 2:00 PM GMT.