The race to book a spot for the highly prestigious Tokyo Olympics resumes as the action of the top shuttlers in Basel, Switzerland for the 2021 Swiss Open.
The upcoming tournament can be held from 2 -7 March, as the world’s best badminton players set their sights on winning the title and earning valuable points for the Olympics.
The points earned by the shuttlers in the tournament will not only point towards their Tokyo rankings, but also determine qualification and germination for the Summer Games to be held in July.
The tournament will unfortunately be held behind closed doors and no spectators will be allowed in this year’s Swiss Open edition due to the ongoing epidemic. However, fans can catch the live action on the badminton WorldTV webside YouTube channel.
World No. 1 Carolina Marin remains in the top half and if she wins, she could possibly face either of the two in the final. Among the men, Victor Axelson is sure to attend Basel. Men’s World No. 1 takes on Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-shu in the first round.
After a disappointing performance during two Thailand Open and BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok last month, Indian badminton players will appear in hit form at Basel to take the final charge for Tokyo qualification.
The Indian team will be selected based on the likes of PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, who have been placed in the lower half of the women’s singles. This means that a much-anticipated all-India semi-final between the two Olympic medals is a possibility.
The three doubles categories – men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles – and the men’s singles event in particular will also see a strong Indian presence. Former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth started his Swiss Open campaign against compatriot Sameer Verma.
Swiss Open 2021 draw for Indian badminton players
PV Sindhu vs Neslihan Yigit (Turkey)
Saina Nehwal vs Phittayaporn Chaiwan (Thailand)
Kidambi Srikanth vs Sameer Verma (India)
HS Prannoy vs Mark Caljouw (Netherlands)
Sourabh Verma vs Christian Kirchmayr (Switzerland)
Ajay Jayaram vs Sitthikom Thammasin (Thailand)
Parupalli Kashyap vs Pablo Abian (Spain)
B Sai Praneeth vs Misha Zilberman (Israel)
Lakshya Sen vs Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thailand)
Ashwini Ponnappa, N Sikki Reddy vs Annabella Jaeger, Stine Küspert (Germany)
M.R. Arjun, Dhruv Kapila vs Vladimir Ivanov, Ivan Sozonov (Russia)
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty vs Christopher Grimley, Matthew Grimley (Scotland)
N Sikki Reddy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra vs Lauren Smith, Marcus Ellis (England)