Saturday, Sep 22, 2018 | Last Update : 02:23 PM IST
Tai Tzu has proved to be her nemesis with an overall 9-5 record against her.
Birmingham: India’s formidable duo of P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will have no dearth of motivation as they aim to win the coveted All England Championships starting on Wednesday — something their mentor Pullela Gopichand did 17 summers ago.
The All England Championship is considered the ultimate glory for any shuttler worth their salt and in India, only Prakash Padukone (1980) and Gopichand (2001) earned their rights to stand on the podium.
Sindhu and Srikanth are expected to have easy first round outings against relatively unheralded opponents but the road is tricky for former finalist Saina Nehwal, who will face world no 1 and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the lung opener.
Tai Tzu has proved to be her nemesis with an overall 9-5 record against her. The Indian has lost the last seven outings, the most recent being at the Indonesia Masters final early in the year.
Fourth seed Sindhu, on the other hand, opens against relatively unknown Thail shuttler Pornpawee Chochuwong but could face her India Open conqueror Zhang Zhang in the next.
Srikanth, meanwhile, should have an easy opener against Frenchman Brice Leverdez.
Indian badminton is going through a golden period with a clutch of world class performers in its ranks, courtesy Gopichand. Among his disciples, London Olympics bronze medallist Nehwal came agonisingly close, losing the final to Carolina Marin in 2015 while Sindhu’s quarter-final finish in 2017 has been her best in the championships so far.
Men’s world no 3 Srikanth enjoyed a fabulous 2017, where he won four Super Series events and is certainly one of the contenders in the men’s section with world no. 1 Viktor Axelsen out of the tournament with an ankle injury. Srikanth had crashed out in the opening round last year and would like to turn the tables this time round.