The Indian contingent heading to participate in the Fuzhou China Open 2019 is teeming with promise given their recent performance at the French Open. It has been a bittersweet year for the Indian shuttlers and as we near the end of 2019, the efforts to make it sweeter will be stronger.
Except for a gold medal at the World Championships for PV Sindhu, it has been a rocky year for Indian badminton but hopefully, things will change with the beginning of the China Open Super 750 tournament from 5th November 2019.
Kidambi Srikanth, who has been suffering from a knee injury, has withdrawn. Other than that, things look very much on track for the Indian contingent. Srikanth, who was supposed to clash against World No. 1 Kento Momota, will sit out this tournament and prepare for the Hong Kong Open, which starts next week.
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, on the other hand, are raring to go. Sindhu, who was a quarter-finalist in 2018 at this tournament, is hungry to show her capabilities as the reigning world champion now.
Sindhu gave lacklustre performances in Korea, Japan and Denmark before putting up a stiff fight against Tai Tzu Ying in the quarters of the French Open. She lost to the Taiwanese World Number 1 after a rigorous battle but she won many hearts with her determination in the match.
The World No. 6 will open her campaign against Pai Yu Po. If she manages to find her destructive form, Sindhu can set up a date with Carolina Marin or Tai Tzu Ying yet again in the quarter-final stages of the China Open.
Saina Nehwal will be beginning her bid for the title against China's Cai Yan Yan. If Nehwal also manages to keep the banner of hope flying high for the Indian contingent, then she might be clashing with second seed Akane Yamaguchi in the quarters.
As far as men's singles is concerned, the focus will be on B Sai Praneeth as he squares off against Tommy Sugiarto in the first round. There are also Parupalli Kashyap, Sameer Verma and HS Prannoy, who will be the source of hope in the men's singles category for India.
The exciting bit of the tournament lies in the men's doubles category with all eyes fixed on the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. The two, who have been showcasing some sensational badminton of late, are fresh off their silver medal win at the French Open.
There are thus a lot of hopes pitched on the duo as they head into the China Open Super 750. They will begin their campaign against Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew. Other than them, there are also Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy who are hungry for success as well.
On the women's doubles front, there are Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy who will shoulder the hopes for the Indian contingent. They will clash with China's Li Wen Mei and Zheng Yu in their first round match.
In mixed doubles, there is the pair of Rankireddy and Ponnappa who will go against Canada's Joshua Hurlburt-Yu and Josephine Wu. The remaining pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy will hope to see off the Chinese Taipei pairing of Wang Chi-Lin and Cheng Chi Ya in their opening match.
Here is all you need to know about Fuzhou China Open Badminton 2019:
Tournament: Fuzhou China Open 2019
Category: BWF Super 750
Location: Fuzhou, China
Venue: Haixia Olympics Sports Center
Prize Money: US$700,000
Schedule: 5th November 2019 to 10th November 2019
Where to watch the matches in India?
The matches will be telecast on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD.
Live Stream Details and Info for the matches:
Fuzhou China Open 2019 can be streamed live on Hotstar.