With the leading Chinese players giving the $200,000 India Open a miss, World No.1 Lee Chong Wei and World No.2 Saina Nehwal would be the favourites for the singles titles when the BWF Super Series event takes place at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium here from April 23 to 28.
Chong Wei, runner-up to Lin Dan in the last two Olympic Games, had finished second best to Korea’s Shon Wan Ho in his title-defence last year.
Saina, the 2010 champion and pre-quarterfinalist last year, is yet to win the event after it attained the Super Series status in 2011.
Top class field
Apart from Lee Chong Wei, five others from the top-10 list will be part of the field.
Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen, China’s Chen Jin, P. Kashyap and Japan’s Kenichi Tago, ranked fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and 10th in the world, will be joined by former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat and fellow Indonesian Simon Santoso.
Among the ladies, besides Saina, the other title-contenders are Juliane Schenk (Germany) and this year’s All England runner-up Ratanachok Intathon (Indonesia), ranked fourth and eighth in the world.
The confirmed list of players will be available after April 7, the last date for withdrawal of entries.
The presence of top-ranked pair of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen (Denmark), second-ranked Malaysian duo Kien Keat Koo and Boon Heong Tan along with third ranked Koreans Ko Sung Hyun and Lee Yong Dae make it the best men’s doubles field seen in the country.
In ladies doubles, the Japanese duo of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi along with Danes Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christina Pedersen, ranked second and third in the world, will the main title-contenders.
For the host, G. Jwala will partner Prajakta Sawant while Ashwini Ponappa will team up with Pradnya Gadre.
The Indian fans can also hope to witness an upset or two from women’s World No. 16 P.V. Sindhu, R.M.V. Gurusaidutt, Sai Praneeth and K. Srikanth.