Defending champion Lakshya Sen and former champion PV Sindhu, who are among the 19-member strong Indian contingent, would be looking forward to showcasing their skills in front of home fans after a year’s hiatus in the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2023.
The India Open, which is part of the BWF World Tour, has been upgraded to the Super 750 category from this year and the world’s best players would be vying for the coveted title at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall here from January 17-22.
Sen had won the title last year beating then-world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in the final while Sindhu had reached the semifinals stage. The 2022 edition was played behind closed door due to Covid restrictions and both Sen and Sindhu are excited about the prospect of playing in front of a packed stadium supporting them.
“India Open has always been a special tournament for me as I get to play in front of the home crowd. Last time fans were not allowed but this time I am looking forward to playing with all the support in the stands,” said PV Sindhu at the pre-event press conference on
Sindhu would be opening her challenge against Thailand’s Supanida Katethong, against whom she had lost in the last-four stage here last year. The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist admitted that the Thai left-hander was a deceptive player but expressed confidence that she can tackle the challenge comfortably.
“Yes, I lost to her last time but I have also beaten her thereafter. I have also worked on some new things and you will see those changes in the tournament,” added Sindhu, who returned to international action at the Malaysia Open Super 1000 earlier this month following a long injury lay-off.
While Sindhu is banking on the home crowd to get going, Sen has the added pressure of being the defending champion and knows that the level of competition has only added another dimension to his title defence.
But to his credit, Sen showed that he has a very mature head on his shoulders when he said he can’t afford to think much about the way the luck of the draw has been and treat the opening round as any other match. My ultimate aim is to defend my title. But I am going to focus on one match at a time.
“Me and Prannoy have played many times in the last year. But most of those matches were at the quarterfinal stage. But this time we are playing back-to-back first-round matches and I need to treat it as any other match,” he added.
“I am happy and proud that the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2023 is now a 750-category event with a prize money of USD 850,000 and it is one of the premier Super Series tournaments held globally. This year is our 18th consecutive tournament as the official Title and Equipment Sponsors. In almost two decades the India Open has grown in status and significance multi-folds. We are deeply committed and involved in promoting this tournament with the Badminton Association of India and as the title sponsors too,” Vikram Dhar, Managing Director, Sunrise Sports India Pvt Ltd
Host India’s hopes will ride on a 19-member contingent led by former world champion PV Sindhu, world no. 8 men’s singles player HS Prannoy and Commonwealth Games Gold medallist men’s doubles combination of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.