B Sai Praneeth will face world No.1 Viktor Axelsen in his singles opener while Lakshya Sen could run into world champion Loh Kean Yew in the second round.
Top Indian badminton players PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen have been handed challenging draws at the All England Open Championships 2022 to be held in Birmingham from March 16 to 20.
PV Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, will be up against world No 17 Wang Zhi Yi in the first round of women’s singles.
Sindhu’s Indian compatriot Saina Nehwal, meanwhile, will face Thailand’s in-form world No 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong in her opener.
Both PV Sindhu, seeded sixth at the tournament, and Saina Nehwal, who is unseeded, are in the bottom half of the draw.
Saina Nehwal may come up against reigning women’s singles world champion Akane Yamaguchi in the second round of the Super 1000 event while Sindhu, the world No. 7, may have to cross swords against either Saina or Yamaguchi if she makes it to the quarter-finals.
If PV Sindhu wins her opening match, she will meet Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi or Thailand’s Supanida Katethong in the second round. Both the left-handers have a good record against the former Indian world champion.
PV Sindhu, however, will be high on confidence having clinched the Syed Modi International title last month. The Indian ace made it to the semi-finals at the 2021 edition of the All England Open and will look to bag a medal this year.
In the men’s singles draw, Kidambi Srikanth will open his campaign against world No. 21 Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand.
If Kidambi Srikanth, who clinched a silver medal at the world championship in December, manages to win his opening match, he will take on either world No. 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting or fellow-Indian Parupalli Kashyap in the second round.
World championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen, meanwhile, will open his campaign against Sourabh Verma in an all-Indian clash.
The winner will take on either world No. 3 Anders Antonsen or current world champion Loh Kean Yew in the second round.
Another former worlds bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth will take on world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen in his singles opener.
In men’s doubles, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will face Scotland’s Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall in the first round and could run into world No. 1 pair Kevin Sukamuljo and Marcus Gideon in the quarter-finals.
Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun have been drawn against the world No 2 pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan in the first round.
In women’s doubles, top Indian pair Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will face Japan’s Kie Nakanishi and Rin Iwanaga in the first round.