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13 Sep, 2021
India will open its Sudirman Cup Campaign against Thailand on the 26th of September 2021. The tournament taking place in Vantaa, Finland will see the Indian team placed in Group A alongside the likes of Thailand, China, and hosts Finland. Also, in the opening session of the opening day the Finnish side will take on favorites China.
On Day 2 of the tournament, the Indians will have a much sterner test to face when they take on the Chinese in the opening session of the second day. Following a rest day on the 28th of September, the Indians will be back on the court for their final group A encounter against hosts Finland on Day 4 of the competition – this will be an evening encounter.
With the top two teams from each of the groups expected to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament, the Indian team can be confident of making the QFs, which take place on October 1st, 2021. The draw for the same is expected to take place on 30th September, following the completion of the group stage matches.
In its 17th edition, the Sudirman Cup will be played in a slightly different format compared to the earlier ones with 16 teams participating instead of the 32. Each of the ties will comprise of five individual match-ups – men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles, with the first team to win 3 of the matches taking the tie.
The Indian Team for the Sudirman Cup is a good mix of experienced and upcoming players, with men’s singles & doubles, and women’s doubles being the strong suits while the women’s singles look inexperienced in the absence of PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.
Sai Praneeth & Kidambi Srikanth are formidable candidates for men’s singles, while Malvika Bansod, Aditi Bhatt and Tasnim Mir will vie for the women’s singles slot. Satwik/Chirag will be the first choice men’s doubles pair with Dhruv/Arjun and Krishna Prasad/Vishnu Vardhan providing cover, should it be so required.
The experienced Sikki/Ashwini should be India’s first choice women’s doubles pair with the impressive Rutaparna Panda/Tanisha Crasto, and upcoming Gayatri Gopichand/Tressa Jolly also in the ranks.
That there were no trials held for the mixed doubles means that the India could field one of the two experienced pairs – Satwik/Ashwini or Sikki/Dhruv, or try any of the other combinations from the plethora of exciting doubles talent available in the squad.