PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, and Lakshya Sen, four of India's best badminton players, have been given difficult draws for the All England Open Championships 2022, which will be contested in Birmingham from March 16 to 20.
In the first round of the women's singles, Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medalist, will face world No. 17 Wang Zhi Yi. Meanwhile, Nehwal will play Thailand's world No. 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong in her first round.
Sindhu, the tournament's sixth seed, and Nehwal, the tournament's unseeded player, are both in the bottom half of the draw.
In the second round of the Super 1000 tournament, Nehwal might face reigning women's singles world champion Akane Yamaguchi, while Sindhu, the world No. 7, could face either Saina or Yamaguchi if she advances to the quarterfinals.
Sindhu will face Sayaka Takahashi of Japan or Supanida Katethong of Thailand in the second round if she wins her first round. Both left-handers have a strong record against the former world champion from India.
Sindhu, on the other hand, will be full of confidence after winning the Syed Modi International last month. The Indian ace advanced to the All-England Open semi-finals in 2021 and will be looking for a medal this year.
Kidambi Srikanth will begin his campaign in the men's singles draw against Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen, who is ranked No. 21 in the world.
If Srikanth, who won silver at the global championships in December, wins his first round, he will go to the second round to face either world No. 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting or fellow Indian Parupalli Kashyap.
Lakshya Sen, a bronze medalist at the World Championships, will begin his campaign against Sourabh Verma in an all-India match.
In the second round, the victor would face either world No. 3 Anders Antonsen or current world champion Loh Kean Yew. In his singles opening match, B Sai Praneeth, a former world bronze medalist, will face world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen.
In the opening round of the men's doubles, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will face Scotland's Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall, and in the quarter-finals, they might face world No. 1 Kevin Sukamuljo and Marcus Gideon. In the first round, Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun will face Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, the world No. 2 combo.