Indians have been handed a fairly easy draw in BWF World Championships to be held in Basel next month. PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have got a bye in the opening round along with newly-crowned Thailand Open winners Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.
Fifth seed Sindhu is likely to face second-seed Tai Tzu Ying in the quarter-finals while Saina who’s seeded eighth could come up against Chinese fourth-seed Chen Yu Fei at the last eight stage. The two could face each other in the semi-finals after a re-draw placed them in the same half.
In men’s singles, seventh seed Kidmabi Srikanth is the same quarter as compatriot Sameer Verma who is seeded tenth, while sixteenth seed B Sai Praneeth is set to come up against Indonesian sixth seed Anthony Ginting.
HS Prannoy could face Lin Dan as early as the second round and a reward for beating Chinese legend could be a third-round match against top seed Kento Momota.
In the men’s doubles event, fifteenth seed Satwik-Chirag could face Indonesian fourth seed pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, while Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy face Thom Gicquel and Ronan Labar in the opening round before a potential meeting with Chinese pair Han Cheng Kai and Zhou Hao Dong.
Ashwini Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy are up against Chang Ching Hui-Yang Ching Tun of Chinese Taipei in the opening round of women’s doubles but face a potential second-round tie against Chinese seventh seed Due Yue and Li Yin Hui.
Women’s doubles pair Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh also tackle Chinese Taipei opposition in the first round in the form of Hsu Ya Ching and Hu Ling Fang. Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha Ram face Diana Soto and Nikte Sotomayor of Guatemala in their opening round encounter.
Mixed doubles pair Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy face English pair of Ben Lane and Jessica Pugh in the opening round before a potential clash against Malaysia’s Tam Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing.
Mixed doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa face France’s Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue in the opener but a win in that tie will pit them against second-seed pair of Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping of China.
Earlier, BWF President Poul-Erik Hoyer welcomed the invitees to the draw and wished the players competing at the tournament.
“We are delighted to be celebrating the 25th edition of our Badminton World Championships. The event has come a long way since the first edition in Malmo, Sweden, in 1977. This year it returns to Switzerland for the first time since 1995 when it was staged in Lausanne.
“The tournament also comes at a critical time for our athletes as they continue their quest to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I wish all the players the best of luck,” said Hoyer.
The competition will be held from August 19-25 in the Swiss capital.