Lucknow, Jan 15 (IANS) Defending champion Saina Nehwal and reigning World Champion Carolina Marin will start the new season when they take to the courts at the $120,000 Syed Modi International Badminton Championships here from Jan 20.
The Grand Prix Gold event will be held at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here Jan 20-25. While Olympic bronze medallist Saina has been seeded No.1, Spaniard Carolina is seeded No.2.
The annual event, the year’s second GP Gold tournament, is being organised by Uttar Pradesh Badminton Association (UPBA) under the auspices of the Badminton Association of India (BAI).
“The presence of the two big stars in the women’s singles category would be good enough to excite fans,” said UPBA president Alok Ranjan, also the president of the organising committee.
BAI secretary general Vijai Sinha said that World No.11 P.V. Sindhu, who has been seeded third, would also play in the tournament. Sindhu finished as the runner-up last year, losing the final to Saina.
“Sindhu’s presence would certainly make the field interesting for everyone,” said Sinha.
Saina will play her opener against Malaysia’s Yin Fun Lim whereas Carolina will meet India’s G. Ruthvika Shivani.
Among the men, World No.4 Kidambi Srikanth has been seeded No.1 while World Championship bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen of Denmark is seeded second.
The qualifying rounds will be played Jan 20 whereas the main draw matches will take place from Jan 21. The finals are slated to be played Jan 25.
Pencho Stoynov of Bulgaria has been named chief referee with Anthony Linggian of Malaysia as his deputy.
Men’s singles: 1-Kidambi Srikanth (Ind), 2-Viktor Axelsen (Den), 3-Parupalli Kashyap (Ind), 4-H.S. Prannoy (Ind), 5-Wei Feng Chong (Mas), 6-B. Sai Praneeth (Ind), 7-Sourabh Verma (Ind), 8-R.M.V. Gurusaidutt (Ind).
Women’s singles: 1-Saina Nehwal (Ind), 2-Carolina Marin (Esp), 3-P.V. Sindhu (Ind), 4-Nichaon Jindapon (Tha), 5-Beatriz Corrales (Esp), 6-Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Tha), 7-Jing Yi Tee (Mas), 8-P.C. Thulasi (Ind).