In Focus

All England Open Championships: Recap of Indian Badminton

By: Swetha Reddy
Date: 12 Mar, 2018
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The reputed All England Open is here with the huge prize purse of USD 1,000,000 which will be held from March 14 to 18 at Birmingham, England. The tournament really is the big deal as it the second highest paid badminton tournament after the year-finale World Tour Finals.

All England is considered as the world’s oldest and special tournament initiated in 1900 in England, being won by the English shuttlers for eight consecutive years.

In 1947, the tournament witnessed it’s participant, Prakash Nath, from India who reached finals and lost the game against Sweden’s Conny Jepsen with 15-7, 15-11.

After 33 years, came the badminton turning point in the country, when Prakash Padukone brought the prestigious title home in 1980.

Indian badminton turning point

Prakash Padukone is the badminton legend who has his brand name for the sport in country after his ‘All England Badminton Championship’ title in 1980 and it is the first ever prestigious title in the Indian badminton history. Badminton had marked turning point in India after his ‘All England’ title; Padukone defeated two of the all-time greats of modern badminton - a four-time title winner Morten Frost of Denmark, in the semi-final, and the three-time winner Indonesian Liem Swie King, in the final.

During the time when the Indians barely know about the sport, Prakash Padukone scaled the heights by winning ‘All England Championship’ title in 1980 and made this sport familiar to the fellow Indians. It was his dream come true to be the top seeded from 1980 to 1981. He was first ever and only Indian so far to achieve the top most seed.

Padukone, as well, stood as the runner-up at the tournament in 1981.

History repeated

After a score year in 2001, the top seed Pullela Gopichand won the All England title defeating the Chinese Chen Hong. Since Padukone’s All England win in 1980, it is his student who brought the title back home.

He bet Anders Boesen from Denmark in the finals and then world No. 1 Peter Gade with his brilliant game. This match had happened when points could be won on winning the serves; an old scoring system. It was a moment to cherish to lift the prestigious trophy and a great sense of pride for the country.


It’s been 17 years since the last title being won by the country. And, this time it is going to be as frenzy as it should be as the country’s guns are blazing with the powerhouse of 15 members than ever.

Tricky draws for the tough Indians

Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth will have the tough opening as they are drawn to play against Tai Tzu Ying and Son Wan Ho respectively.

It has been tough for the world no. 11, who was an All England Open 2015 finalist, as she never registered victory over the Chinese Taipei girl in their last seven meetings and the recent loss being in the finals of the recently held Indonesia Open.

While, fourth seeded PV Sindhu would open her campaign against Thailand shuttler Pornpawee Chochuwong and would face the India Open champion Beiwen Zhang in the next round.

Among the men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth, the holder of four Super Series titles, will start the campaign against the Frenchman Brice Leverdez, while the Singapore Open winner B Sai Praneeth will face the former world no. 1 and veteran Son Wan Ho, and HS Prannoy who is recovering from his corn on his foot need to face the eighth seeded Chou Tien Chen of the Chinese Taipei in the opening round.

In the doubles event, Indonesia Open semi-finalists Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will face Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan, and if they get through the opening round they are likely to face Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark in the following round.

On the other hand, the implementation of the New Service Rule which begins from the tournament and the immediate Commonwealth Games is really a big challenge for the top Indian shuttlers.

First Round Draws of the Indian players:

Women’s Singles:

Saina Nehwal vs Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei;

PV Sindhu vs Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand

Men’s Singles:

Kidambi Srikanth vs Brice Leverdez of France;

B Sai Praneeth vs Son Wan Ho of Korea;

HS Prannoy vs Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei

Women’s Doubles:

Ashwini Ponnappa/N Sikki Reddy vs Ayaka Takahashi/ Misaki Matsutomo of Japan;

J Meghana/Poorvisha S Ram vs Shibo Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto of Japan

Men’s doubles:

Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj vs Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi;

B Sumeeth Reddy/Manu Atri vs Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge of England

Mixed doubles:

Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Sikki Reddy vs Marvin Emil Seidel/Linda Efler of Germany

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