We are fully prepared and hope to play well at both Thailand Open badminton tournaments, says Chirag Shett
New Year’s international badminton season will soon get underway with back-to-back Thailand Open badminton tournaments in the coming weeks.
Almost all the leading Indian shuttlers including PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal are participating in the twin tournaments at Bangkok and excited to resume their campaign on a fresh note.
India’s premier men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, ranked 10th in the world, are too eager to get going after nearly one year.
“We are doing well in the practice and we have prepared well for the new season. Hope to play well at both the tournaments. It’s been eleven months since we have played a tournament together so I can’t wait to get back on court,” said Chirag Shetty on Sunday soon after reaching Bangkok via Dubai from Hyderabad.
All the Indian players will be put in isolation and will be in bio-bubble before they can resume practice ahead of the tournament. The Yonex Thailand Open will be held from January 12 to 17, while the Toyota Thailand Open will be played from January 19 to 24. The two tournaments will kick-start the Asian leg of the BWF World Tour.
“We will have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period in a hotel room in Bangkok. We will be allowed to play after our Covid-19 test reports come negative. We are confident of putting up a good show in Bangkok,” said Chirag, who hails from Mumbai.
According to Chirag, 23, and Satwiksairaj, 20, draw is good and they should make inroads into the competition. Both Chirag and Satwiksairaj recently won the Arjuna Award for their excellent performance in the international competitions between 2017 and 2020.
“Overall it’s a good draw. We are playing South Korea’s Lee Yong Dae and Kim Gi Jung in the first round. They are decent opponents. We have played them only once before and we had won that match. Looking forward to playing against them,” said Chirag.
Except for the Denmark Open and SaarLorLux Open, the badminton calendar had been on hold since the All England Open in March 2020.