India’s star shuttler PV Sindhu has been drawn in the same quarter as world No 3 Tai Tzu Ying as the draw for the All England Open was announced. But the current world No 9 will start off her campaign against world No 17 Zhang Yi Man from China for the prestigious event in Birmingham, scheduled to start on March 14.
Saina Nehwal, meanwhile, will start off against a familiar opponent in China’s Han Yue.
In men’s singles, HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen were drawn in the same quarter yet again. Prannoy starts his campaign against Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei while Sen has a tough opener against fifth seed Chou Tien Chen. Should he win that match he will play the winner of the all-Danish tie between Anders Antonson and Rasmus Gemke.
Srikanth Kidambi meanwhile starts his campaign against Toma Junior Popov of France.
In another tricky draw for Indians, the men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have been drawn up against the legendary ‘Minions’ – Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. The Indonesians are unseeded now but have an 11-0 head-to-head lead against the sixth-seeded Indians. The last time these two pairs met was at the All England Open last year.
But should the sixth seeds get past the opener, they may play world No 9 team from China Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang. A win there could see them play the quarterfinal against world No 2 Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia should teams win based on their rankings.
The other Indian men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila plays the Chinese team of Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang in roumd one.
In the women’s doubles draw, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, who reached the semifinal at last year’s All England Open, have been handed a tough opening match against seventh seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai from Thailand.
Meanwhile, Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam play Koreans Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee.
Only one Indian pair is competing in the mixed doubles event, with Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto playing eight seeds Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Lohau from Germany.