A look at the performance of Indian players at the Denmark Open Superseries Premier in recent times
After about a month’s break, all the top shuttlers return to action at the Denmark Open Superseries Premier, which starts in Copenhagen on the 13th of October. India’s performance at the competition, ever since its inception in 1935.
Only two shuttlers- Prakash Padukone and Saina Nehwal- are the ones to have ever clinched the title. The Superseries Premier generally sees the best compete and this year the competition will have extra significance for the shuttlers keeping in mind the Rio Olympics next year.
Here’s a look at the performance of India at the Denmark Open over the last few years:
In the 2012 edition of the tournament, the Men;s Singles contingent gave very little to cheer about as all the 3 Men’s Singles contenders- Anand Pawar, Ajay Jayaram and Sourabh Verma- crashed out in the opening round of the competition.
There was no representation for India in the Women’s Doubles since Jwala Gutta, one-half of India’s premier women’s doubles pairing had decided to go on sabbatical after the London Olympics earlier that year.
But there was success, though in the tournament, courtesy Saina Nehwal, who clinched the Women’s Singles title after beating Julien Schenk of Germany in the final, thereby continuing her fine year, which saw her win the bronze at the Games, prior to this tournament.
There was a slightly better performance from the Indian Men’s contingent as RMV Gurusaidutt reached the quarterfinals of the tournament where he eventually lost to the number 3 seed at the time Du Pengyu of China.
In the Women’s Singles category, it was Saina once again who was the best performer of the lot, as the other two Women’s Singles contenders- P V Sindhu and Arundhati Pantanwane crashed out in the opening round of the competition.
The Women’s Doubles pair of Gutta and Ponnapa also failed to make any impact in the competition, bowling out in the opening round courtesy a walkover.
Last year, two Men’s Singles contenders- Srikanth and Praupalli Kashyap progressed through to the quarterfinals of the competition while Saina and Sindhu also reached the same stage of the competition.
Gutta and Ponnappa also had a poor tournament, as they crashed out in the opening round of the competition.
But this year is a new one. Higher expectations, tougher competition and raised stakes from all corners means Indians aren't going to have it easy from any angle. But the real difference between a good player and an average comes out in all forms only when you play with the best and the Demark Open Superseries Premier will certainly give an indication of that.