Badminton action shifts from Birmingham to New Delhi as the season's second Superseries tournament, India Open, kick starts on 28 March at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium.
The Men's singles draw has lost its sheen as top seed Lee Chong Wei along with two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan decided to pull out from the event way ahead of its start to concentrate on the upcoming Malaysia Open Supersereis, starting 4 April. The tournament suffered another setback when world number two Jan O Jorgensen withdrew, leaving his compatriot Viktor Axelsen as the highest-ranked Men's singles star.
However, Women's singles field is filled with superstars even after missing the top-ranked, reigning All England champion Tai Tzu Ying. Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin is the top seed while India's PV Sindhu starts behind Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea as the third-seeded player. Two-time champion Saina Nehwal, who is expected to meet her younger compatriot in the quarter-final, will be looking to get back to winning ways at home.
While the absence of Lee, Lin and Jorgensen will hurt the tournament, Axelsen will be eyeing to make use of it and end his title drought. Notably, the world number four, who won the season-ending Dubai Superseries Finals last year, had a disappointing run in Birmingham as he faced a quarter-final defeat against the Chinese legend.
Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon, who got back to form with a run to the final at All England Championships, will be looking to continue her dominance and the likes of youngsters Akane Yamaguchi and Busanan Ongbumrungpan are expected to continue their impressive form.
All eyes will be on Malaysia's top-ranked Men's doubles pairing of Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong as the duo will be hoping to reclaim their world number one ranking from Indonesia's All England champions Marcus Fernaldi and Kevin Sanjaya with a solid run in New Delhi.
India: Star Sports
Malaysia: Astro Supersport
Singapore: Hub Sports 3
|Men's singles||Women's singles|
|1. Lee Chong Wei (Mas) Withdrawn||1. Carolina Marin (Esp)|
|2. Jan O Jorgensen (Den) Withdrawn||2. Sung Ji Hyun (Kor)|
|3. Viktor Axelsen (Den)||3. PV Sindhu (Ind)|
|4. Son Wan Ho (Kor)||4. Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn)|
|5. Tian Houwei (Chn)||5. Ratchanok Intanon (Tha)|
|6. Ng Ka Long (Hkg)||6. Saina Nehwal (Ind)|
|7. Chou Tien Chen (T)||7. Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn)|
|8. Marc Zwiebler (Ger)||8. Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Tha)|
Schedule of key matches on 29 March, Wednesday [Matches start at 11:30am SGT]
For full schedule, click here.
Chou Tien Chen vs Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk
Son Wan Ho vs Sameer Verma
Tian Houwei vs Wei Nan
Viktor Axelsen vs Ajay Jayaram
Carolina Marin vs Kim Hyo Min
Akane Yamaguchi vs PC Thulasi
Saina Nehwal vs Chia Hsin Lee
PV Sindhu vs Arundhati Pantawane