BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta said the body was looking at tier II cities to host the domestic league.
New Delhi: All eyes will be on Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu as the 7th India Super Series badminton tournament gets under way with the qualifiers at Siri Fort here on Tuesday.
London bronze medallist Saina will be one of the favourites at the Indian Super Series, an event she won two years ago to achieve the world no.1 ranking.
Challenging them for the crown will be world no. 4 and Rio gold medallist Carolina Marin of Spain and defending champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
Said Saina here, “Delhi has always been special for me. I won the Commonwealth Games gold here and then the Indian Open in 2015 and became the world no. 1.
“So everything has been special for me. It is great to play in front of my home crowd,” said the current world no. 8, who has been on the comeback trail after recovering from a knee injury.
Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu, who has been in rampaging form in the last few months, will look to continue the momentum. Saina and Sindhu crashed out of the All England Championship after losing in the quarter-finals and the duo will eye better results this week.
They are likely to bump into each other in the quarter-finals on Friday if they manage to topple their opponents in the first two rounds.
Sindhu opens her campaign against a qualifier after her opponent — Singapore’s Liang Xiaoyu — withdrew, while Saina will take on Chinese Taipei’s Chia Hsin Lee in the opening round.
Among others in women’s singles, Rituparna Das squares off against Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Mei Hui and Tanvi Lad takes on seventh seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. In the men’s section, action will be spearheaded by world no. 4 Viktor Axelsen and world no. 5 and 2012 winner, Son Wan Ho of Korea.
The home challenge is in the hands of Ajay Jayaram, H.S. Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth.
With the qualifying rounds starting Tuesday, Indian hopes rest on Sourabh Verma, Siril Verma and former junior world no. 1 Aditya Joshi.
Meanwhile, the Badminton World Federation has extended hosting rights of the Indian Super Series tournament by four years.
BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta said the body was looking at tier II cities to host the domestic league and also the prospect of an Asian Badminton League.