China Open 2019: Where to watch, TV Schedule and Live Stream details
It has been a whirlwind few months with Indian shuttlers racing to unprecedented but long-deserved glories. The sight of PV Sindhu with the yellow metal around her neck at the BWF World Championships is still a glittering memory from a fortnight ago.
The newly-crowned world champion has stirred the hopes of the country anew with her spectacular performance in Basel. No wonder the expectations are sky-high from the Indian contingent as they head to China to play in the third and last BWF Super 1000 event of the calendar in Changzhou.
The spotlight is once again on the women's half of the tournament with both PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal leading the charge. There is no doubt that the lanky Hyderabadi has improved her game considerably over the last few months and is impatient for success.
With the gold medal in her pocket and the title of a world champion to her name, Sindhu is going to be the one to watch out for. Both Nehwal and Sindhu have tasted success at this tournament in the past. While Nehwal has been a winner in 2014 and a finalist in 2015, Sindhu took over from her and won the tournament in 2016.
The men's half of the tournament is lacklustre with both Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy pulling out. While Srikanth is yet to win a title this year, he has been plagued by a knee injury.
On the other hand, Prannoy, who delivered a masterful performance against Lin Dan at the World Championships last month, had to withdraw from China Open owing to an ill-timed bout of dengue. With that, the men's side is visibly crippled and the chances of a podium finish are extremely bleak. All hopes will now be on former quarter-finalist Parupalli Kashyap and B. Sai Praneeth to deliver a lucky medal or two.
The China Open has always been a happy hunting ground for Indian shuttlers. Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal hoisted the flag of India high with their title wins in 2014 whilst Sindhu took care of it in 2016 and finished as a quarter-finalist in 2017-18.
However, things are bound to look different this year with a revamped Sindhu looking to shine. Her loss against Chen Yufei in 2018 here can be easily put behind now that she has dominated the Chinese in their last meeting in Basel.
All said and done, it will be interesting to see if Sindhu can maintain her form. She has been handed a slightly tricky draw with a Round of 32 meeting with Li Xuerui, an Olympic gold medallist and a former World No 1. Although Xuerui has plummeted to 20 in the rankings, she can be a concern for the Hyderabadi. Sindhu has a fair advantage over the Chinese because she won their last meeting at the Indonesia Masters earlier this year.
Nehwal is set to open her bid for a second gold medal at the China Open against Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan, ranked 19 in the world. The Indian leads the head-to-head at 3-1.
Parupalli Kashyap has been given an easy draw with Brice Leverdez as his first opponent while World No. 15 Sai Praneeth opens his campaign against the unseeded Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand.
The expectations are very high this time around but with any sport, there is a note of unpredictability in every tournament. The China Open has proven to be a successful event with 3 gold medals and a silver being collected so far, but the Indian shuttlers might just be able to dazzle in Changzhou and bring home some more medals.
All eyes will be fixed on Sindhu and Nehwal as each of them will vie for a second title at the China Open and the men will be trying their best to pitch in as well.
Here is all you need to know about the BWF China Open 2019:
Tournament: VICTOR China Open 2019
Category: BWF Super 1000
Location: Changzhou, China
Schedule: 17th September, 2019 to 22nd September, 2019
Where to watch the matches in India?
The matches will be telecast on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD.
Live Stream Details and Info for the matches:
China Open 2019 can be streamed live on Hotstar.