The Orleans Masters 2021 marks the resumption of the Olympic qualifying tournaments, with the BWF Super 100 event beginning on March 23 in Paris, France. Several Indian shuttlers are looking to make it to the main draw, while most others, like Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, have received a first-round bye.
With the Orleans Masters 2021 being only the second tournament after the Swiss Open 2021 to be considered for Olympic qualification, shuttlers will aspire to put in their best performance here. As the last date (June 15) for Olympic qualification hovers near and with just four more such qualifying events to go, Indian shuttlers cannot let any opportunity pass easily.
All eyes will be on top-seed Kidambi Srikanth and fourth-seed Saina Nehwal as they compete at the Orleans Masters 2021 in the men's and women's singles respectively. Both players are pressed for time and will be looking to up their game as they open their campaign at the Orleans Masters 2021, to stay in the race to Tokyo.
Who are the Indian shuttlers looking to qualify for the main draw at Orleans Masters 2021?
The Orleans Masters 2021 will kick off today with qualification round matches. Ira Sharma received a walkover from Malya Hoareau of France in the women's singles. She will go on to play in the first round against yet another French player, Leonice Huet.
The men's singles will see heavy participation, with Mithun Manjunath and Alap Mishra already having qualified for the main draw. While Manjunath got a walkover from Algeria's Youcef Sabri Medel, Mishra entered the main draw after receiving a walkover from Julien Carraggi. It remains to be seen if Shreyansh Jaiswal will fare well in his qualifier match as he takes on Frenchman Simon Baron-Vezilier.
First-round action is also expected to take off today, with Swiss Open 2021 quarter-finalist Ajay Jayaram opening his campaign against fellow Indian Alap Mishra. Shuttlers Subhankar Dey and Kiran George are also set to begin their Orleans Masters 2021 journey as they play Ditlev Jaeger and Mark Caljouw respectively.
Full Schedule of Day 1 at the Orleans Masters 2021:
Men's Singles Qualifying Round:
Simon Baron-Vezilier v Shreyansh Jaiswal
Men's Singles - First Round
Ajay Jayaram vs Alap Mishra
Mark Caljouw vs Kiran George
Ditlev Jaeger Holm vs Subhankar Dey
Here's all that you need to know about the Orleans Masters 2021:
Date: March 23 - March 28, 2021
Tournament: Orleans Masters 2021
Category: BWF Super Tour 100
Location: Palais des Sports, Orleans, France
Prize Money: US$ 90,000
Where to watch Orleans Masters 2021?
The tournament will be broadcasted on the official Youtube channel of Fédération Française Badminton not before 1:30 PM IST.