Tough Draw Awaits Indian Contingent at the All England Championships

By: Sandhya
Date: 23 Feb, 2021
Image Courtesy: GoBadminton

World #1 Kento Momota is ranked the number one seed for the Men’s Singles at the Yonex All England Badminton Championships 2021, with Viktor Axelsen drawn in the bottom half of the draw. Momota will face Parupalli Kashyap in the opening round and could have another Indian challenger in HS Pranoy, should the latter overcome Darren Liew in his opening round encounter.


Kidambi Srikanth is the lone Indian seed at number 8 and faces off against Indonesian veteran Tommy Sugiarto in the opening round. Lakshya Sen could be Srikanth’s pre-quarters opponent, but for that Lakshya will have to overcome fourth seed Anthony Sinsuka Ginting in the second round, should both of them get there. B Sai Praneeth opens his tournament against Frenchman Toma Junior Popov, with Axelsen up next in the second round. Sameer Verma is the final Indian in the fray, opening against Ygor Coelho of Brazil, with a possible match up against Anders Antonsen or Brice Leverdez in the second round.


In women’s singles action Carolina Marin is the top seeded contestant with Nozomi Okuhara at number 2 and compatriot Akane Yamaguchi coming up third. Ratchanok Intanon and PV Sindhu are seeded number 4 and 5, with hotshot Pornpawee Chochuwong slotted in at number 6. Mia Blichfeldt and Busanan Ongbamrungphan completed the eight seeded players, respectively.


Marin will open her tournament against Thai player Supanida Katethong, while PV Sindhu takes on the Malaysian Sonia Cheah. Sindhu could run into third-seed Akane Yamaguchi in the QFs. 2012 Olympic Bronze Medallist Saina Nehwal, meanwhile, has a tough draw to negotiate against Mia Blichfeldt in the opening round and then a possible second round encounter against Kirsty Gilmour, with a QF line-up against Ratchanok Intanon in the offing.


In men’s doubles the Indian pair of Satwik/Chirag are seeded number 6 and could run into top seeded Kevin Sanjaya/Marcus Gideon at the QFs stage. MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila are the other Indian pair in the draw taking on the Malaysian team of Ong Yew/Teo Ee in their opening match-up.


Sikki Reddy/Ashwini Ponnappa will open their women’s doubles campaign against Benyapa/Nuntakarn of Thailand and could face the sixth seeded Stoeva sisters in the second round. Meanwhile, Meghana Jakkampudi/Poorvisha Ram will be up against the Danish pair of Alexandra Boje/Mette Poulsen. Shikha Gautam/Ashwini Bhat will be up against the formidable seventh seeds Chloe Birch/Lauren Smith of England.  


In the mixed doubles event, Dhruv Kapila/Meghana Jakkampudi will take on the top seeds Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva in their opening round encounter, as Satwik/Ashwini Ponnappa face-off against Japanese pair Yuki Kaneko/Misaki Matsutomo. Sikki/Jerry Chopra, meanwhile, will have an English opposition in the opening round Max Flynn/Jessica Pugh with a possible second round match-up against another English pair – the fourth-seeded Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith.

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