India’s top men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty is looking forward to securing a spot in the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals 2023, grabbing the maximum points at the China Masters Super 750, starting Tuesday.
Satwik and Chirag are the top-seeded pair at the event and will face familiar opponents, Ben Lane and Sean Vendy of England in the first round. This matchup has always been a close affair as they share a 2-2 head-to-head record.
If the Indian pair overcomes the early challenges, they are likely to run into very tough opponents in Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen of Denmark.
The world no. 3 Astrup and Rasmussen have been in the form of their life in the last few months, winning the French Open Super 750, Arctic Open Super 500 and Hong Kong. They also made a runner-up finish at the World Championships.
Satwik-Chirag, on the other hand, has been going through a torrid form since winning the Asian Games gold medal in China. They have also been toppled from the pole of world rankings after rising to the number one position following their Asian Games feat.
The Dynamic duo need at least a runner-up finish to stand a chance to win a spot at the BWF World Tour Finals, the richest badminton tournament in the world.
The Indian combo is currently ranked 13th in the Race to Finals rankings with 67020 points. Only the top eight pairs are eligible to play in the prestigious Finals.
In men’s singles, HS Prannoy, the world no. 8, will be back in action after a second-round exit in Japan Masters last week. He lost to Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in a close three-setter match in Round of 16. Prannoy will face Chou Tien Chen again, this time in the first round.
Besides Prannoy, the men’s singles field will see three more Indians in action. Lakshya Sen will face a tough opponent in the seventh-seeded Chinese Shi Yuqi, who made a runner-up finish at the Kumamoto Masters in Japan. Kidambi will face the fourth-seeded Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand while youngster Priyanshu Rajawat will play against Japanese Kenta Nishimoto.
In women’s Singles, Aakarshi Kashyap is the lone representative for India. She will face Zhang Yi Man of China in the first round.
The women’s doubles category also has only one Indian representation in Rutaparna Panda and Swetaparna Panda. They will face seventh-seeded Chinese pair of Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu in the first round.