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Swiss Open 2021: Sindhu-Marin clash likely?

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Swiss Open 2021 marks the return of badminton after a month’s break. January 2021 was action-packed with three back-to-back tournaments in Bangkok, Thailand. First, was the Yonex Thailand Open followed by Toyota Thailand Open, and ended with a spectacular World Tour Finals of the 2020 calendar season.

Swiss Open 2021 Super 300 also marks the resumption of the Olympic qualification window for badminton. Ranking earned by players at this event will count towards the qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held later this July. The Super 300 begins on 2 March 2020, concluding with the finals on 7 March 2020.

St Jakobshalle, Basel will play host to about 400 athletes from all over the world at the 30th anniversary of this event. The Chinese team has chosen to skip the event.

Ahead of the upcoming week of scintillating badminton action, let’s preview the draws of the Swiss Open.

Men’s Singles

Srikanth Kidambi Denmark Open
(Image Source: Twitter) Srikanth Kidambi 

Viktor Axelsen who has been in spectacular form has been seeded first in this tournament. He faces Jason Anthony of Canada in the first round. Kidambi Srikanth faces teammate Sameer Verma in the very first round. If Srikanth wins his first two matches he has a relatively comfortable path to make it to the quarter-finals where he is likely to meet sixth seed Kantapon or HS Prannoy if he comes up with stunning upsets.  Son Wan Ho, former world number one from Korea returns to the competition after a long time with this event. He faces seventh seed Shesar Rhustavito of Indonesia. HS Prannoy, the slayer faces Mark Caljouw of the Netherlands.

The elder Verma brother Sourabh begins his campaign against Christian Kirchmayr of Switzerland.  Ajay Jayaram takes on a Thai Sitthikom Thammasin. He is likely to face the young, promising Danish Rasmus Gemke in Round 2 who will be a challenger.  Parupalli Kashyap faces Pablo Abian of Spain. B Sai Praneeth faces the Israeli hurdle of Misha Zilberman. Should Kashyap and Sai win their respective matches the two could face each other in Round 2.

The youngster Lakshya Sen also features in this event starting off against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand. The other top players like Anders Antonsen and Chou Tien Chen who did participate in the Asian leg have skipped this event ahead of the All England later this month.

Also Read: Badminton World Championships 2021 to be held in “Carolina Marin Sports Palace”

Women’s Singles

Carolin Marin vs Perminova Denmark OPne
(Image Source Twitter) Carolina Marin

Tai Tzu Ying, World number one and BWF World Tour Finals 2020 winner will not be around this time at the Swiss Open. However, Carolina Marin, winner of two back-to-back titles at Thailand, who is seeded first, begins her European gig with a match against Natalia Perminova of Russia.  She has a comfortable way up to the semi-finals with only Beiwen Zhang being capable of posing a challenge.  The independent player from the USA, 7th seed Beiwen Zhang starts off against Linda Zetchiri.

PV Sindhu seeded number 2 has an easy first round against Neslihan Yigit of Turkey. She has a great chance to make it to the final to set up a clash against rival Carolina Marin. If Nehwal wins her matches too, A Sindhu-Saina Semi-final is likely.

Saina Nehwal is up against a young Thai Phittayaporn Chaiwan. With experience on her side, the Indian should be able to make her way to the next round comfortably where she is likely to face the sixth seed Sung Ji Hyun of Korea who can pose a tough challenge.

Basel is the place where PV Sindhu was crowned World Champion in 2019. Wouldnt it be a wonderful moment for her to be crowned here again? And an even sweeter victory if she beat arch-rival Carolina Marin?

Mixed Doubles

Swiss open Ashwini satwik
Image Source: Twitter | Ashwini, and Satwik

Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy face strong opponents, the fourth-seeded pair of  Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith of England.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa are up against the second-seeded Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia. The Indian Duo had defeated them earlier in the early rounds of the Asian leg. They even beat Olympic Silver medalists Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying who are the first seed here at Basel. They could meet the fifth seeds Lai Pei Jing and Tan Kian en-route semifinals. It is likely that given their performance at the Asian leg and the confidence they will have after beating the second seeds, they could get through to the semi-finals at least. It would be a dream run for the pair if they manage to pull off these victories and even make it to the finals.

Also Read: When PV Sindhu visited Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence

Men’s Doubles

Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia are the number one seeds at the Swiss Open in the Men’s doubles category.

M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, a young pair from India face n experienced pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov of Russia. It would be great to see how the youngsters perform. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty who are seeded second, start their campaign against Christopher Grimley and Matthew Grimley of Scotland. They have a great opportunity to make it up to the last four in the least. With Mathias Boe being roped in for the Indian team, it would be interesting to watch how the pair performs and whether they can actually win a title here or have a podium finish.

Women’s Doubles

A Thai Pair of Jongkolphan and Prajongjai, the number one seeds are the favorites for the title. The Stoeva Sisters Stefani and Gabriela return after almost a year-long break, opening against Vimala and Margot of France. In the bottom half of the draw are the second seeds from Malaysia Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean. Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy who are in the lower half face Annabella Jaeger and Stine Küspert of Germany. With a victory here, they are likely to face stiff competition from the fourth-seeded English pair of Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith.

Several spectacular matches are lined up with the Swiss Open to be held in Basel. The Super 300 event starts on 2nd March 2021. Stay tuned to TSD for updates reviews, previews, and analysis.

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