The 2016 Yonex Indian Open Super Series is the most prestigious tournament organised by the BAI (Badminton Association of India) and is one of the last Super Series tournaments before the deadline of submission of points for the Automatic Qualification spots for the Rio Olympics.
The Indian shuttlers were looking to gain some much needed points for the Olympics. So how did they fare in Indian Open Super Series ? Let’s find out.
Indian Open Super Series Mixed Doubles.
With Olympic round the corner, the Indian team is looking forward to the automatic qualification spots. Indians have always lacked the flair and skill when it comes to the doubles’ events. The impressive pairing of Bodin Issara and Savitree continued their great run, as the unseeded pairing reached their 3rd semifinals of the calendar year . The second seeded pairing of Ko and Kim, suffered a shock Quarter Final defeat to the young Chinese pairing of Lu Kai and Huang from China, who were the eventual champions. This was their first Super Series win as a pair. The other finalists, unseeded pairing of Widianto and Dilli, had a great breakout tournament. They defeated the mighty successful pairing of Pedersen and Fischer in the Quarters. A match that lasted more than an hour was surely one of the best matches Indian crowd has ever seen. The unseeded pairing won the encounter 23-25 21-19 23-21. The Final was a disappointing affair, as Widianto and Dilli lost rather easily 21-13 21-16 to Kai and Huang.
The Women’s Doubles was dominated by Matsutomo and Takahashi (Japan), as they lost only a single game on their way to lifting the Super Series crown. Their only struggle came in the Semis, where they were pushed to their limits by the top seeds Maheshwari and Polii (Indonesia). Having had a break after the All England Championships, both the pair were at their prime, but the Japanese duo proved a bit too good, as they snatched the win through three tough games of 21-18 19-21 23-21. They had a dream Uber Cup, as they were undefeated in the tournament. The second seeds, Juhl and Pedersen lost in the Semis to the unseeded pair of Fukuman and Yonao (Japan) 14-21 22-20 21-17. Takahashi and Matsutomo, showed their experience in the Finals, clinching the title 21-18 21-18.
The Indonesian players have stepped up their game as part of preparation for Olympics.
Gideon and Kevin (Indonesia), were the stars of the tournament. They defeated top seeds from China, Chai and Hong in the second round. In the Semis they defeated, PBL stars, Goh and Tan (Malaysia), who defeated 4th seeds Mats and Kolding (Denmark), in the Quarter Finals. The other Finalists were another young Indonesian pair, 7th seeded, Pratama and Ricky. The 7th seeds, disposed off the Asian Games Champion and the Second seeds, Kim and Kim (Korea) in the Quarters and the 5th seeds, Ko and Shin (Korea), in the Semis. The 7th seeded pair lost the Final rather easily, 21-17 21-13. Indian fans had high hopes riding on Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy, who had shown glimpses of their talent during the tour. But to the fans despair, they lost in the second round to Chin and Wang (Chinese Taipei ).
2016 has seen Ratchanok Intanon reach the game heights which her talent promised as she became the youngest ever World Champion. Since winning the World title, there has been a downward slide in Ratchanok’s game. But, the second half of 2015 circuit saw the rising of the promising star. The 4th seeded Intanon, won the Super Series defeating the current Olympic Gold Medalists, Li Xuerui (China ), 21-17 21-18. Saina Nehwal, who is still recovering from the foot injury, went down fighting to Li Xuerui, in the Semis. The Olympic Bronze Medalist, showed great skill and composure, but just couldn’t finish the task, as she lost in three tough games 22-20 21-17 21-19. Saina savaged the Semi Final defeat in the Swiss Open, by defeating Sung Ji (Korea), in the Quarter Finals. Still struggling to find form, PV Sindhu, had yet another disappointing tournament. She lost to Bae Ju (Korea), the Quarterfinals 15-21 21-15 21-15. With Rio Olympic approaching, Sindhu must build on her confidence and endurance as she looked out of pace in the third game.
Top-seeded , Lee Chong Wei, had a tournament to forget, as he lost for the third time in a row to Wei Nan (Hong Kong), 21-19 21-19 , in the second round. K Srikanth, too suffered the same faith, as he lost in the first round to Tian Hou Wei again, 21-13 17-21 24-22. It was a disappointing tournament for the Indian shuttlers, as no player qualified past the first round. The mighty Lin Dan, lost in the second round to long time nemesis Son Wan Ho (Korea). Kento Momota, 2nd seed, (Japan) the star in the Men’s Singles category, clinched yet another title, defeating the young Dane, Viktor Axelsen, 21-15 21-18.
The Indian Open Super Series, 2016 edition, was a disappointment for the Indian Shuttlers, one in which, the big guns fired empty shells. Next up is Malaysian Open Super Series. The stakes are high.