India Open is one of the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) six Super 750 World Tour events in a calendar year. Promoted formally from Super 500 to Super 750 in 2022, the BWF Grade 2 events, India Open, whose inaugural season was first played in 2008, is the biggest badminton tournament in India.
Even though India’s stature in world badminton improved over the years due to the rapid rise of premier shuttlers like Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu and World Championships medal-winning men’s singles players like Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen, the level of tournaments India hosts require upgrading.
In recent years, the emergence of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty as one of the world’s top men’s doubles combo and India’s Thomas Cup men’s team championship winning display also showed that badminton in India is on the right track.
But the number of tournaments India hosts is also not very high. Currently, India has only three BWF tournaments since the Hyderabad Open Super 100, which started with much aplomb in 2018, got shut down after hosting its second edition in 2019 due to a paucity of funds.
One of India’s most popular sports, badminton, has a large community of players in India. However, the number of top events remains scant in India, forcing young Indian shuttlers to jostle for international exposure playing in foreign countries, which is costly; and not affordable for every player.
Besides India Open Super 750, the other World Tour event India hosts every year is the Syed Modi International Super 300. India has managed to establish two more BWF Tour tournaments in recent years by setting up Odisha Masters and Guwahati Masters, both Super 100 category events.
Considering the popularity of badminton in India and the intent to make the events more attractive to top players, Sanjay Mishra, the Badminton Association of General Secretary, on Monday said the Indian federation is contemplating initiating the process of upgrading the level of the tournaments in India
“We are trying to convert our Super 300 tournaments into a Super 500 and the Super 750 to Super 1000 in coming years,” Mishra said at the inaugural press conference of India Open 2024 in New Delhi.
Last year, the BWF promoted the Malaysia Open to the Super 1000 level due to the booming badminton culture in Malaysia and the country’s rise as one of the top badminton-playing nations in the world.
Most of the world’s top badminton-playing countries have at least two World Tour events. In Malaysia, apart from the Malaysia Open, the country hosts the Malaysia Masters Super 500 event. Similarly, China has the China Open Super 1000 and Masters Super 750.
Meanwhile, in Japan, Japan Masters is a Super 500 event, while Japan Open Super 750 is the highest category event in the country.
Indonesia, on the other hand, plays host to a Super 1000 event at the Indonesia Open, one of the world’s top four World Tour events, along with the Indonesia Masters, a Super 500 event.