China's Chen Long and India's Saina Nehwal are the top seeds in the respective women's and men's singles competition in the Denmark Open, which starts on Wednesday. While both the shuttlers have a good chance of winning the title, they are aware of the tough task, which stares at the face with a number of top class players in action.
In the men's arena, Chen Long has been a successful player in the Denmark Open in the past as he has won the men's title thrice in the last four years. Players such as Lin Dan, Jan O Jorgensen and Lee Chon Wei are expected to challenge the world number one for the title.
Meanwhile, looking at the Indian stars in the fray for the singles' competition, KIdambi Srikanth, who is seeded fifth, is India's best bet, while Parupalli Kahyap, who faces a huge opponent in Chon Wei in the first round, has been seeded eight.
Srikanth is set to face Ajay Jayaram, which calls for an entertaining encounter especially the way the latter has been playing of late, reaching the Korea Open finals and also clinching the Dutch Open. Can Jayaram create a massive upset?
Talking about upsets, Wang Zhengming will also be eyeing victory against home favourite Jan O Jorgensen in the first round.
In the women's singles, Saina, who might have gone cold after the World Championships silver medal winning performance, will want to get back to her best as she opens her campaign against Thailand's Busanan Ongbumrungphan in Wednesday. She could run into South Korea's Sung Ji Hyun and Li Xuerui in the quarters and semis of the competition respectively.
Li Xuerui, who is the defending champion, faces a tricky opponent in the form of Indonesian Lindaweni Fanetri in the first round, while second seed and world champion Carolina Marin will be up against Sun Yu.
Compared to the men's singles, it is the women's singles, which always throws up an interesting challenge. It could be anybody's game. Four different women players have won the Denmark Open in the last four editions.
Important first round matches
Chen Long vs Wong Wing ki Vincent – 12:45pm local time (4:15pm IST)
Kento Momata vs Boonsak Ponsana – 1:30pm local time (5pm)
Ajay Jayaram vs Kidambi Srikanth – 3pm local time (6:30pm)
Parupalli Kashyap vs Lee Chong Wei – 4:30pm local time (8pm)
Li Xuerui vs Lindaweni Fanetri – 10:30am local time (2pm)
Saina Nehwal vsBusanan Ongbumrungphan – 11:15am local time (2:45pm)
Sung Ji Hyun vs Sayaka Takahashi – 6pm local time (9:30pm)
Carolina Marin vs Sun Yu – 6:45pm local time (10:15pm)
For complete schedule of Denmark Open, click here.
TV Listings – Star Sports 4 will only offer live coverage from Thursday (pre-quarters)