Sports Reporter :
IN THE women’s singles top half of the draw, city’s Mugdha Agrey and doubles player Ritika Thaker will begin their campaign at the India Open, which returns after being cancelled twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Tuesday. City’s top singles player Malvika Bansod, drawn in the bottom half, will play her first round match on Wednesday. The six-day event will be held at KD Jadhav Indoor Hall at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi and conclude on Jan 16. Mugdha, who said she was happy with the draw, will take on Panchkula’s Anupama Upadhyaya, who trains at Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA), Bengaluru.
If the Nagpur lass win the first round, she will be up against winner of the match between third seed Singapore’s Sgpyeo Jia Min and USA’s Disha Gupta. Ritika will also play her Round One tie of women’s doubles event on Tuesday. The doubles specialist was due to play women’s and mixed doubles but with her mixed doubles partner Andhra’s Bokka Navaneeth missing the event after testing positive for the dreaded coronavirus, Ritika will play women’s doubles only. Ritika and Mumbai girl Simran Singhi will take on Ukraine’s pair of Mariia Stoliarenko and Yelyzaveta Zharka. A lot of ranking points will be up for grabs at the USD 400,000 Super 500 tournament which is being held in the looming shadows of a raging third wave of the pandemic in the country with cases rising at a rapid speed, fuelled by the new Omicorn variant.