The race to book a spot for the highly coveted Tokyo Olympics restarts as top shuttlers return to action in Basel, Switzerland, for the 2021 Swiss Open. The upcoming tournament, to be held from March 2 -7, could be fierce as the world’s best badminton players set their sights on winning the title and earning valuable points for the Olympics. Points earned by the shuttlers at the tournament will not only count towards their Tokyo rankings, but will also decide the qualification and seedings for the upcoming summer games in July.
The tournament unfortunately will be held behind closed doors and no spectators will be allowed at this year’s Swiss Open edition due to the ongoing pandemic. However, fans can catch live action on the Badminton WorldTV websiteand YouTube channel.
Reigning world No. 1 Carolina Marin is in the top half and could possibly clash with either of the two Indian aces in the final if they win. Among men, Viktor Axelson is certain to take part in Basel. The men’s World No. 1 takes on Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue in the first round.
After a disappointing run during the two Thailand Opens and BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok last month, Indian badminton players will look to hit form at Basel to make a final charge for Tokyo qualification. The Indian squad will be spearheaded by the likes of PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, who are placed in the bottom half of the women’s singles draw. This means a highly awaited all-Indian semi-final between the two Olympic medalists is a possibility.
The three doubles categories – men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles – and especially the men’s singles event will also see a strong Indian presence. Former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth begins his Swiss Open campaign against compatriot Sameer Verma.
Swiss Open 2021 draw for Indian badminton players
1. PV Sindhu vs Neslihan Yigit (Turkey)
2. Saina Nehwal vs Phittayaporn Chaiwan (Thailand)
1. Kidambi Srikanth vs Sameer Verma (India)
2. HS Prannoy vs Mark Caljouw (Netherlands)
3. Sourabh Verma vs Christian Kirchmayr (Switzerland)
4. Ajay Jayaram vs Sitthikom Thammasin (Thailand)
5. Parupalli Kashyap vs Pablo Abian (Spain)
6. B Sai Praneeth vs Misha Zilberman (Israel)
7. Lakshya Sen vs Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thailand)
1. Ashwini Ponnappa, N Sikki Reddy vs Annabella Jaeger, Stine Küspert (Germany)
1. M.R. Arjun, Dhruv Kapila vs Vladimir Ivanov, Ivan Sozonov (Russia)
2. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty vs Christopher Grimley, Matthew Grimley (Scotland)
1. N Sikki Reddy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra vs Lauren Smith, Marcus Ellis (England)
2. Ashwini Ponnappa, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy vs Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja, Hafiz Faizal (Indonesia)
Check men’s singles draw schedule here
Check women’s singles draw schedule here
Check men’s doubles draw schedule here
Check women’s doubles draw schedule here
Check mixed doubles draw schedule here: