Former world champion PV Sindhu will have to overcome the reigning Asian Champion Wang Zhi Yi and nemesis An Se Young if she has to reach the semifinals of the 2022 BWF World Championships as the draw was announced on Wednesday for the upcoming Tokyo edition.
The tournament will be held from August 21 to 28 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
Huelva 2021 medallists Srikanth Kidambi and Lakshya Sen, along with in-form HS Prannoy have all been placed in the same quarter of the draw meaning only one of them could reach the semifinal. And they have to contend with a well-rested Lee Zii Jia and former champion Kento Momota.
Men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty have a decent draw having avoided the Minions and Daddies (top pairs from Indonesia) but have to overcome Fikri/Maulana and reigning world champions Hoki/Kobayashi if they want to reach their first semifinals at the event.
Former medallist Saina Nehwal is in the bottom quarter of the draw and should she win the opening round, will be facing former world champion Nozomi Okuhara in the second round.
Sindhu and Satwik-Chirag have opening round byes.
The event is being held in Japan for the first time. India have former world champion (2019) PV Sindhu in the mix while Srikanth Kidambi (2021 silver) and Lakshya Sen (2021 bronze) are also in the draw. Sindhu has won five medals in the event (one gold, two silver, two bronze) but will look to bounce back after a rare miss in 2021. Former bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth, who has been struggling for form since, is also in the draw and faces an uphill task against fourth seed Chou Tien Chen to start.
Women’s singles section
Projected WS quarterfinals (based on seedings):
Akane Yamaguchi-Carolina Marin
PV Sindhu-An Se Young
Ratchanok Intanon-Chen Yu Fei
Nozomi Okuhara-Tai Tzu Ying
Apart from Nehwal and Sindhu, Malvika Bansod is present in the draw.
Men’s singles section
With three Indians in good form this season, India could have hoped for a repeat of 2021... but the draw has put a premature end to that. Only one of Lakshya, Srikanth and Prannoy can reach the semifinals with all of them in the same quarter as Lee Zii Jia and Kento Momota. Lakshya in fact will face a tough test in the opening round against the soon-to-retire HK Vittinghus.
Projected MS quarterfinals based on seedings:
Viktor Axelsen-Anthony Ginting
Chou Tien Chen-Jonatan Christie
Loh Kean Yew-Anders Antonsen
Lee Zii Jia-Kento Momota
Men’s doubles section
Apart from Satwik-Chirag, the other Indians in fray are Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy, MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila, Krishnaprasad Garaga/Vishunvardan Goud Panjala.
Women’s doubles section:
Gayatri Gopcihand and Treesa Jolly, CWG 2022 bronze medallists, will have to deal with the challenge of Tan/Thinaah yet again from Malaysia should they progress to the second round. The top Malaysian pair defeated the Indians twice in CWG, in the mixed team event final as well as the women’s doubles semifinal. Ashwini Ponnappa/Sikki Reddy have been placed in the same 1/8th of the draw as the top seeds Jia/Chen. Pooja Dandu/Sanjana Santosh, Ashwini Bhat/Shikha Gautham are also in the draw.
The Indians in mixed doubles draw are Tanisha Crasto/Ishaan Bhatnagar and Venkat Prasad/Juhi Dewangan.
A few key takeaways:
- Men’s singles world No.1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark is on a 31-match winning streak this season. He potentially faces last week’s Commonwealth Games semifinalist, Jason Teh of Singapore, in the second round.
- Two-time mixed doubles world champions, China’s Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong, arrive in Tokyo having won six straight tournaments. They are in the same half of the draw as compatriots and Olympic Games conquerors Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping.
- After surprisingly missing out on a medal at her home Olympics last year, 2021 women’s singles world champion Akane Yamaguchi seeks redemption on home soil. The likes of Carolina Marin (Spain), He Bing Jiao (China), An Se Young (Korea), and recent Commonwealth Games champion Pusarla V. Sindhu (India) will try and block her path to the final.