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India Open Badminton

India Open Badminton Logo

The India Open Badminton Tournament was first founded in 1973. It ran intermittently until 1997. A total of 6 tournaments were held in 1973, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1997. Since 2008 it has been run as an annual event, although in different formats. From 2011, all the India Open badminton matches have taken place in the Siri Sports Complex in Delhi. 

Grand Prix Gold

The India Open was relaunched as an anual tournament in 2007. However, although the first edition of this event should have taken place in Hyderabad in 2007, it was postponed until 2008 because of the Hyderabad bombings. The first three editions were designated as Grand Prix Gold events. 

Super Series

In 2011, the Badminton World Federation upgraded the India Open to be part of the BWF Super Series of international Grade 2 badminton tournaments. The Super Series itself was launched in December 2006, with the first matches taking place in 2007. 

There were 12 tournaments in the Super Series divided into two levels — seven Super Series tournaments and five Super Series Premier tournaments. The India Open formed one of the seven BWF World Tour Super Series events. The top eight players and pairs in both levels played in the Super Series Finals scheduled at the year-end.

BWF World Tour Super 500

In 2017 a restructuing of the Super Series was announced. In 2018, the India Open became part of the new BWF World Tour series of tournaments. This consistes of three Super 1000, five Super 750, seven Super 500, and eleven Super 300 tounaments culminating in the World Tour Finals. The India Open now forms part of the super 500 series. 

The matches scheduled for 2020 and 2021 were ll cancelled dur to Covid-19. The 2022 India Open is scheduled for January 2022.

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    India Open winners

    The India Open has five formats — Men's Singles, Women's Singles, Men's Doubles, Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Over the years, this tournament has attracted top badminton players. Let's look at some of the individual winners of this premier sporting event.

    Men's Singles

    The India Open men's singles winners from 2008 onward were:

      • 2008 - Boonsak Ponsana - Thailand
      • 2009 - Taufik Hidayat - Indonesia
      • 2010 - Alamsyah Yunus - Indonesia
      • 2011, 2013, 2014 - Lee Chong Wei - Malaysia. 
      • 2012 - So Wan Ho - South Korea
    • 2015 - Srikanth Kidambi - India
    • 2016 - Kento Momota - Japan
    • 2017, 2019 - Viktor Axelsen - Denmark
    • 2018 - Shi Yuqi - China

    Four players from the above list deserve special mention. Taufiq Hidayat from Indonesia is a former World and Olympic champion. Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei held the World No.1 position for a record 199 consecutive weeks. The third player, So Wan Ho is also a former World No.1, while Viktor Axelson, who has won this title twice, also won the men's singles title in the 2020 Olympics.

    Women's Singles

    The India Open women's singles winners from 2008 onward are:

      • 2008 - Zhou Mi - HongKong 
      • 2009 - Pi Hongyan - France 
    • 2010, 2015 - Saina Nehwal - India 
      • 2011 - Porntip Buranaprasertsuk - Thailand 
      • 2012 - Li Xuerui - China
      • 2013, 2016, 2019 - Ratchanaok Intanon - Thailand 
      • 2014 - Wang Shixian - China
    • 2017 - P. V. Sindhu - India
    • 2018 - Beiwen Zhang - USA

    Again a few players deserve a special mention. India's Saina Nehwal has won the title twice. Nehwal has won 24 international titles, including six from the Super Series. Although Nehwal became the World No.2 in 2009, it took her six years to attain the World No.1 spot. 

    With her win in 2011, Porntip Buranaprasertsuk became the first Thai to win a women's singles title in the BWF Super Series. She was followed by Ratchanaok Intanon who not only won the India Open three times, but in 2013 became the first Thai to become the World No. 1 women's badminton simgles champion.

    Chinese players have also had a lot of success at the Indian open. London Olympics Gold Medalist and double world champion Li Xuerui won the India Open in 2012, Fellow countrywoman Wang Shixian won in 2014. While two other players of Chinese origin have won for their adopted countries - Zhou Mi for Hong Kong and Beiwen Zhang for the USA.

    Summary

    The India Open has been a hugely successful badminton event so far. There are three main reasons why this tournament has attracted so many world champions. The first can be linked to Prakash Padukone's tremendous feat in becoming the first Indian player to win the 1980 All England championship. That heralded the arrival of India on the international badminton circuit. Over the years, India has become a hub for international badminton, and has produced several international stars, such as Pullela Gopichand, who became the second India player to win the All England title in 2001. However, India's women players have achieved much more than their male counterparts. Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu have won several world championships and Olympic medals and become household names. Thanks to these players, the India Open is now regarded as a major badminton event.

    Gian Chacko

    Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.