Amid a lot of doubts and apprehensions, international badminton returned for the first time since the All England Open in March as the Denmark Open began on October 13. With a series of tournaments getting postponed or cancelled, there were growing concerns over the resumption of the BWF Tour this year.
With the Asian leg pushed to January, the Super 750 event currently remains the only major tournament taking place in the remainder of the year. It has, however, seen a flurry of last-minute withdrawals, with top Japanese shuttlers including World No. 1 Kento Momota pulling out as travelling still continues to be a big hassle.
This has opened up the draw, and Indian shuttlers might just make the most of this opportunity. Team India will be represented by four players - World No. 14 Kidambi Srikanth, World No. 27 Lakshya Sen, World No. 46 Subhankar Dey and World No. 61 Ajay Jayaram following the withdrawals of Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and PV Sindhu.
On the first day, the former Asian junior champion Lakshya Sen gave a thunderous start to India's title aspirations with a commanding 21-9, 21-15 victory over the 77th-ranked Christo Popov.
Kidambi Srikanth is now left to take charge on Wednesday as he looks to book his place in the second round with an easy win over the 52nd-ranked Toby Penty.
By sheer dint of world ranking and accomplishments, Srikanth has the edge in this match-up. The former World No. 1 shuttler lifted the trophy in Odense back in 2017 with a sizzling run that also included an upset victory over local star Viktor Axelsen. Srikanth knows the conditions too well and has been injury-free for some time, which should inspire him to give his best.
On the other hand, despite having a promising junior career, the 28-year-old Englishman's career-high world ranking remains a lowly 43rd. While Srikanth boasts of six Superseries titles in an illustrious career, Penty's biggest achievement has been winning a BWF Grand Prix title in 2017. Besides, he would be heading into this match low on confidence, having failed to notch up a win in three matches this year.
Ever since training has been allowed, Kidambi Srikanth has spent the last couple of months working on his fitness and his strokes to get ready for the resumption of the BWF Tour. Even if he is a little rusty and makes a slow start, the Guntur-born champion should soon find his attacking game against a man he has beaten before.
Here is all you need to know about the Denmark Open 2020:
Tournament: Danisa Denmark Open 2020
Category: HSBC BWF World Tour Super 750
Location: Odense, Denmark
Date: October 14, 2020
Kidambi Srikanth match time
(5) Kidambi Srikanth vs Toby Penty expected to be around 1:15pm IST.
Head-to-head: Srikanth leads 1-0
Last meeting: Kidambi Srikanth defeated Toby Penty 21-4, 21-14 in the first round of the 2013 Thailand Open.
Where to watch the matches in India
The Denmark Open 2020 matches will be telecast live on Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 2 HD from October 13.
Live Stream Details and Info for the matches:
The Denmark Open 2020 matches can be livestreamed on hotstar.com, BWF TV and Olympic Channel.