Top shutters from around the world are gearing up for the upcoming China Open, which is scheduled to start on 10 November. India's Saina Nehwal and China's Chen Long have been seeded first in the women's and men's competition respectively.
Apart from the top seeds, there are a host of players, who will vie it out for major honours in China.
In the men's competition, Jan O Jorgensen, Lin Dan and Kento Momata are some other contenders in the mega tournament while Kidambi Srikanth remains India's biggest hope.
Srikanth, who had started the season well, has looked out of touch of late. The India shuttler was thrown out of the competition in the initial rounds in Denmark and Japan. Hence, the India shuttler will be more than eager to deliver the goods in China and provide some tough competition to other shuttlers. Srikanth, who is seeded fifth in the China Open, faces Hu Yun in the first round of the competition.
The competition is not going to be any easy one for Srikanth as he could face Lin Dan in the quarter finals. Ajay Jayaram and HS Prannoy are the other Indian shuttlers in the competition.
Though the men's competition has been dominated by players such as Dan, Long, Momata during the year, it is the competition in the women's arena, which is intriguing as it could be anybody's game.
Players such as Carolina Marin, Wang Shixian, Tai Tzu Ying, Wang Yihan, Sung Ji Hyun are some of the best players, who are participating in the competition. With such an array of stars, Saina has her work cut out as she has been below par of late in the Denmark Open, Japan Open and French Open, where she has dumped out of the competition in early rounds.
Saina, who has been suffering from abdominal pain, is aware of the importance of China Open.
"I had some abdominal pain and little discomfort in my heel but now I am fine. I trained harded in the last few weeks and I am really looking forward to the tournament. It is an Olympic year and it is an important event. I will give my best," PTI quoted Saina as saying.
Apart from Saina, PV Sindhu, who reached the finals of the Denmark Open last month, is unseeded in the competition.
Saina will meet Sun Yu while Sindhu faces Ksenia Polikarpova in the first round.
Important first round matches(11 November)
Chen Long vs Ajay Jayaram
Jan O Jorgensen vs Takuma Ueda
KIdambi Srikanth vs Hu Yun
Saina Nehwal vs Sun Yu
Wang Yihan vs Hadia Hosny
Carolina Marin vs Maria Febe Kusumastuti
For complete schedule of China Open, click here.
TV Listings – Star Sports 4 will only offer live coverage from Thursday onwards.