Second seed PV Sindhu will look to strike form as she takes guard at the Swiss Open BWF Super-300 tournament which begins in Basel on Tuesday.
Sindhu, who had a forgettable outing at three events in Thailand in January will be looking for her maiden triumph at this event.
Swiss Open has been a major hunting ground for the Indians with Saina Nehwal winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, Kidambi Srikanth triumphing in 2015, HS Prannoy reigning supreme in 2016 and Sameer Verma achieving the top honours in 2018.
This year too, there is a good chance of an Indian triumph and men’s doubles team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty looks the best bet.
With the Chinese and many top Asian shuttlers preferring to opt-out of the tournament, the field looks quite weak. World No.7 Sindhu begins against world No.29 Neslihan Yigit of Turkey in the first round. The world champion is expected to reach the semifinals without breaking much sweat, where she may face either Saina Nehwal or Ji Hyun Sung of Korea.
Saina got a tougher draw as she may have to deal with Ji Hyun Sung in the second round. If she gets past Sung, Saina may face Sindhu in the semifinals.
The duel between the two top shuttlers is always interesting and the senior pro has so far dominated Sindhu.
Olympic champion Carolina Marin is the top draw in women’s singles. It may be difficult to stop the champion shuttler from reaching the final where she may duel with one of the Indian shuttlers.
Kidambi Srikanth will begin his campaign against academy-mate Sameer Verma. If he negotiates the first few rounds he may face HS Prannoy or Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in the quarters and Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the semifinals.
The bottom half of the draw is packed with Indian players. Fifth seed Sai Praneeth faces Misha Zilberman of Israel and may have to play Parupalli Kashyap in the second round.
Fast-rising youngster Lakshya Sen got a difficult draw. He has to be at his best when he starts against the tricky Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand and may run into second seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia in the second round. He may have to deal with Sai Praneeth in the quarterfinals.
Ajay Jayaram is pitted against Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand and may face Sourabh Verma in the quarterfinals.
Second seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are overwhelming favourites to win the men’s doubles title. The duo faces its first big challenge, perhaps in the quarters against Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi of Malaysia. They may meet Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia in the final. The Indians have a 2-2 win-loss record against the Malaysians.
Satwik and Ashwini Ponnappa face the formidable Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia in the first round.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy square up against third seeds Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of Denmark.