Hong Kong Open 2016: First round – Preview, timing, date, channel, live streaming information
Competition: Hong Kong Open Superseries 2016
Date: 22 November, Tuesday to 27 November, Sunday
Venue: Hong Kong Coliseum
TV Coverage: Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD4 (In India)
Live Streaming: BWF official YouTube channel
Last Sunday, Indian sports witnessed one of its glorious moments when star shuttler PV Sindhu captured her maiden Superseries title at the China Open. It was a mature, controlled performance from the 21-year-old, displaying her newly-acquired calmness that was so evident during her silver medal-winning campaign at the Rio Olympics.
But now it is a completely new tournament that presents a fresh challenge. The Hong Kong Open is the final Superseries event of the year and every player will be looking to give their utmost in order to rack up the points and secure a berth at the prestigious season-ending BWF Superseries Finals to be held in Dubai next month.
There is thus no doubt that competition will be of the highest quality. Sindhu can meet Hyun Ji Sung whom she beat in the China Open quarter-finals as early as the second round.
The semi-finals are where things can become pretty interesting. Fifth seed Saina Nehwal, in the midst of her comeback to the circuit, can be Sindhu’s potential semi-final opponent. And that undoubtedly will be one match that all Indian fans will be waiting for.
But before that, the 2010 champion Nehwal has one hurdle to cross which she failed to breach last week in Fuzhou. Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk beat the Indian in her first match on her return but not before the former World No. 1 gave enough glimpses of her courage and fighting spirit.
If anything, it proved that India’s golden girl would not take much time to claw her way back to the top echelons where she belonged. On her second meeting in as many weeks, the London Olympic bronze medallist might even pull off a win and that would not be a surprise at all.
However, both the Indian shuttle queens need to be wary of a couple of dangers lurking in the other half of the draw. Top seed and Olympic champion Carolina Marin, fourth seed Tai Tzu Ying and sixth seed Akane Yamaguchi could prove to be a handful for both of them.
In men’s singles, World No. 23 Ajay Jayaram has a realistic chance of making it through to the quarter-finals where he can face the fifth seed Tian Houwei.
In contrast, B Sai Praneeth has the toughest opening as he is up against the third seed and newly-crowned China Open champion Jan O Jorgensen. HS Prannoy too doesn’t have it easy as he meets his last week’s conqueror Qiao Bin. Sameer Verma starts off his campaign against the 52nd ranked Takuma Ueda, who is a qualifier.
The schedule and timing of the first round matches of Indian shuttlers:
Date: 23 November, Wednesday
(5) Saina Nehwal vs Porntip Buranaprasertsuk – 10.30am IST
PV Sindhu vs Susanto Yulia Yosephin – 7.10pm IST
Sameer Verma vs Takuma Ueda – 8.20am IST
HS Prannoy vs Qiao Bin – 9am IST
Ajay Jayaram vs Anthony Sinisuka Ginting – 1pm IST
B Sai Praneeth vs (3) Jan O Jorgensen – 4pm IST
Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy vs Solgyu Choi/Ko Sung Hyun – 7am IST