Malaysia’s quest for a successful year begins on Tuesday as 17 shuttlers prepare to do battle at the India Open, the first tournament on the 2022 BWF World Tour calendar.
In the men’s singles, Ng Tze Yong, Soon Joo Ven and Cheam June Wei are set to test their mettle in a competitive field in New Delhi that includes reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew as well as its runner-up and tournament top seed K. Srikanth.
Ng faces seventh seed Tommy Sugiarto, and the youngster could pull off an upset win against the Indonesian after a stellar 2021 that saw him win the Belgian International Challenge, Polish Open and Scottish Open.
Alhtough those wins came from lower-tier events, Ng should take plenty of confidence as he prepares to compete against much higher ranked shuttlers.
Meanwhile, Cheam faces lanky Russian Sergey Sirant and Soong takes on India’s Chirag Sen.
In the men’s doubles, third seeds Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi should fancy their chances against homesters Ravikrishna PS-Sankar Prasad Udayakumar.
Early observation of the draw indicate if the world number 11 play to the same form produced at the BWF World Championships in Spain, where they won a bronze medal, they could reach the final for a showdown against top seeds Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan.
Another independent pair Lim Kim Wah-Nur Azriyn Ayub face sixth seeds M.R.Arjun-Dhruv Kapila.
In the women’s doubles, Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien are still finding their feet as a relatively new pairing and face a tough task against Indonesia’s Fitriani Fitriani-Yulia Josephine Susanto.
There are four pairs in the mixed doubles, and plenty of attention is on the scratch combination of Chan Peng Soon-Valeree Siow, who take on Raju Mohamed Rehan-Jamaludeen Anees Kowsar.
Chan predicted the new pair to reach the quarter-finals at least.
Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, who play Pratik Ranade-Kanika Kanwal in their opening match, are the top seeds, and so expectations are rife on them to win this event.
Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei face M.R.Arjun-Treesa Jolly, while Chiew Sien is also on mixed doubles duty with Wong Tien Ci to go up against Venkat Gaurav Prasad-Juhi Dewangan.