Sindhu and Co. chase elusive title at All England Championships

Birmingham, Mar 16 (PTI): World champion PV Sindhu will look to shrug off her demoralising Swiss Open final defeat and take advantage of a depleted field when she spearheads India’s challenge at the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships, beginning here on Wednesday.
Sindhu looked a pale shadow of herself in her defeat against Carolina Marin, going down without much fight as she struggled to contain errors.
Carolina, the three-time world champion from Spain, though has pulled out of the prestigious tournament due to an injury, taking some shine off of the event.
Also missing in action will be the Chinese, Koreans and Chinese Taipei shuttlers, who decided not to compete in the Super 1000 event as it is not part of the Tokyo Olympic qualification period.
It affects the quality of the competition but also provides the 19-member Indian contingent an opportunity to go deep in the draw and recapture the trophy which has been won by just two Indians so far — the legendary Prakash Padukone (1980) and P Gopichand (2001).
While former world number one Saina Nehwal had a runner-up finish in 2015, Sindhu’s best finish was a semifinal in 2018 but none of the other Indian shuttlers have been able to go deep in the tournament till now.
Olympic silver medallist Sindhu will again be one of the top contenders but Saina is nowhere near her best with just two quarterfinal finishes to show in the last two years.
Among other Indians, former number one Kidambi Srikanth and young men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, currently ranked 10 in the world, had a good run in Swiss Open and will look to put their best foot forward.

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