The Yonex Thailand Open is the first badminton tournament of 2021. It is set to begin on 12 January at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. Indian fans can watch their favorite badminton stars in action on TV and live streaming.
Youngster Lakshya Sen pulled out of the tournament owing to an injury. Barring him, all the top Indian badminton stars are set to feature at the Thailand Open. Indian Olympic medalists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will return to competitive badminton after a 10-month long pandemic-forced hiatus. They last played in the All England Open in March 2020.
Reigning womens world champion and Rio silver medalist, PV Sindhu will go against former European champion, Mia Blichfeldt in the first match. Sindhu who is world no. 7 will be the favourite against the Danish shuttler.
2012 Thailand Open winner, Saina Nehwal was due to face world no. 4 Nozomi Okuhara in the first round. However, the entire Japanese contingent opted out of the tournement due to COVID-19 concerns. Thus, the London bronze medalist will get a bye in her first match. She will face either Busanan Ongbamrungphan or Sabrina Jaquet in the second round.
Interestingly in the men’s event, even Parupalli Kashyap will get a bye in the first round as he was to face off against Japanese ace Kento Nishimoto.
Former world no. 1 and 2012 Thailand Open winner, Kidambi Srikanth will kickstart the tournament against fellow Indian shuttler Sourabh Verma. Whoever wins will face Indian HS Prannoy or Malaysian Lee Zii Jia in the second round. 2017 Thailand Open winner B Sai Praneeth will open his campaign against Thai shuttler Kantaphon Wangcharoen. He may run against world no. 4 Viktor Axelson in the second round.
Some exciting action will be witnessed in the doubles and mixed doubles as well with the top-rated Indian teams stepping on the court. 2019 men’s doubles Thailand Open champions, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will be competing. Top-rated women’s team of Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy will be in action.
Points accumulated from the Super 1000 tournament will aid the players’ bid to qualify for the season-concluding 2020 BWF Tour Finals. They will be held later this month. However, it won’t have any bearing on the Tokyo Olympics qualification process as points earned here won’t count in the race to Tokyo rankings.
Full schedule and fixtures of Indian shuttlers
The Yonex Thailand Open will be held from 12 January to 17 January 2021.
Women’s singles first round fixtures
PV Sindhu vs Mia Blichfeldt
Saina Nehwal vs Nozomi Okuhara (Bye)
Men’s singles first round fixtures
Kidambi Srikanth vs Sourabh Verma
Parupalli Kashyap vs Kento Nishimoto (Bye)
B Sai Praneeth vs Kantaphon Wangcharoen
HS Prannoy vs Lee Zii Jia
Sameer Verma vs Shesar Hiren Rhustavito
Women’s doubles first round fixtures
Ashwini Ponnappa/ N Sikki Reddy vs Kim So Yeong/Kong Hee Yong
Men’s doubles first round fixtures
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty vs Kim Gi Jung/Lee Yong Dae
Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy vs Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi (Bye)
MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila vs Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi
Mixed doubles first round fixtures
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Ashwini Ponnappa vs Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Widjaja
B Sumeeth Reddy/N Sikki Reddy vs Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet
Where to watch Thailand Open live in India?
The Yonex Thailand Open matches will be telecast live in India on the Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 2 HD TV channels. Broadcast starts from 12 January 7:30 am IST. Live streaming of the tournament will be available on Disney+Hotstar OTT platform.