India Open 2024: Smash to Glory in New Delhi! | Sportsmonks
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India Open 2024: Smash to Glory in New Delhi!

India

Home Comfort Beckons as India Open 2024 Welcomes Badminton’s Elite

In a thrilling start to the Olympic year, New Delhi is set to host the India Open Super 750, attracting badminton’s top stars, including reigning champions Kunlavut Vitidsarn and An Se Young. The tournament, upgraded to Super 750 status last year, promises a display of world-class badminton as players gear up for the race to Paris 2024.

Evolution of the India Open

The India Open, a BWF prime event for over a decade, gained prominence in 2023 when it achieved Super 750 status, placing it just two levels below the highest grade on the World Tour. With this upgrade, a select group of ‘Top Committed Players’ defined by rankings is mandated to participate, enhancing the overall competition.

Home Comfort for Indian Contingent

For Indian players accustomed to a hectic international schedule, the India Open offers a unique opportunity for home comfort. HS Prannoy, India’s top singles shuttler, expressed the significance, stating, “To have a tournament of Super 750 stature is something very big for us.” The event allows players to reconnect with their roots, reliving fond memories and enjoying local support rarely experienced during their global travels.

Prannoy’s Special Bond with India Open

Although Prannoy is yet to clinch the India Open title, the tournament holds a special place in his heart. Recalling the memorable 2013 edition, he emphasized the significance of defeating idols like Taufik Hidayat and facing Lee Chong Wei. Prannoy’s hunger to win the tournament reflects the deep connection players feel with the home crowd.

Lakshya Sen’s Triumph and Challenges

Lakshya Sen, despite recent challenges, reminisced about the crowd support during India Open 2022, where he secured his first Super 500 title. Looking forward to facing friend Priyanshu Rajawat in the opening round, Lakshya aims to reignite his Paris aspirations with the backing of home spectators.

BAI’s Perspective on Tournament Upgrade

Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), highlighted the elevated standard of the India Open as top players compete. He acknowledged the boost local support provides and emphasized the need for Indian players to raise their rankings, setting a benchmark for excellence.

Super 750 Upgrade and Player Participation

As a Super 750 event, the India Open requires less effort to attract top players, eliminating the challenges faced during its Super 500 phase. Mishra outlined the positive impact on player promotions, creating additional opportunities for Indian shuttlers to earn higher rankings on home turf.

Star Attractions and Absences

Despite the withdrawals of world No 1s and former champions, the India Open 2024 boasts a stellar lineup, featuring India’s top stars like Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, HS Prannoy, and Lakshya Sen. Reigning world champions and global superstars, including Tai Tzu Ying and Jonatan Christie, ensure a captivating competition.

Anticipation for Home Title Victory

The absence of some prominent players adds a layer of unpredictability, but the focus remains on the potential for a homegrown champion. As India Open 2024 kicks off, badminton enthusiasts eagerly await the outcome, hoping to witness a local hero emerge victorious on the international stage.

In conclusion, the India Open serves as a crucial battleground for badminton’s elite, offering Indian players a chance to shine on home soil and creating an exciting spectacle for fans worldwide. The tournament’s Super 750 status, combined with the Olympic year fervor, sets the stage for intense competition and memorable moments in the heart of New Delhi.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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