Thu, 20 Jan 2022

Madrid [Spain], December 1 (ANI): Reigning world champion PV Sindhu's title defence will not be easy as she will likely have to go through the challenge of Pornpawee Chochuwong, Tai Tzu Ying and Carolina Marin after the draws were made for the 2021 BWF Badminton World Championships on Wednesday.

The tournament is being held in Huelva, Spain, from December 12 to 19. The two-time Olympic medallist Indian has a bye in the first round and is seeded sixth for the tournament.

Her first opponent will be the winner of the match between Martina Repiska and Ruselli Hartawan, and will expect a third-round match against the in-form Thai shuttler Chochuwong. If she gets through, a likely quarterfinal against world number one Tai Tzu Ying is on cards before a potential semifinal against Marin.

Spanish icon Carolina Marin will also contemplate an interesting draw as she returns from injury straight into the BWF World Championships 2021, at which she will be accorded the rare honour of playing in an arena named after her.

The fourth seed Spaniard, in the hunt for her fourth world title, has a bye in the first round, and will expect to make the quarterfinals against He Bing Jiao or fellow-European Mia Blichfeldt.

At the top of the draw is Tai Tzu Ying, who, like Marin, will be sufficiently rested, for the Chinese Taipei star hasn't played since winning silver at Tokyo 2020.

The bottom quarter of women's singles has two players - Akane Yamaguchi and An Seyoung - who have swept the prominent World Tour titles since the Olympics, and early fireworks are expected.

In the men's doubles draw, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have also earned a first-round bye. Seeded-eighth they are in the same quarter as the Olympic champions Lee Yang and Wang Chi Lin.

In men's singles, a final clash between Kento Momota and Viktor Axelsen looms ahead. Two-time world champion Momota might have to deal with the likes of Kenta Nishimoto, Lakshya Sen and Jonatan Christie in his quarter before a possible semifinal against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Chou Tien Chen, Kunlavut Vitidsarn or Kidambi Srikanth. (ANI)

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