The qualifying rounds of the Rs 5 lakh-prize money tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday with the event scheduled for a Tuesday finish. The first three days of the tournament will be held at the K Raheja stadium while Karnataka Government Secretariat (KGS) will play host to the semifinals and the finals.
The men’s singles qualifying round will see 180 players battle it out for eight slots in the offing while 77 doubles’ pairs will have their eyes on the four slots available.
Ajay Jayaram and Trupti Murgunde (both from Petroleum Sports Promotion Board), top-ranked in the men’s and the women’s categories respectively, will look to live up to their billings while the rest of the pack will not make it easy for the top seeds.
Anup Sridhar, who bowed out of last year’s event in the first round, is seeded second, and along with his State-mate and fellow Padukone Academy trainee, Mohit Kamat, he is expected to give the favourites a run for their money.
In the women’s category, Sayali Gokhale, seeded second, is another hot contender for the pole finish.
Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, seeded fourth in the women’s doubles category, are the overwhelming favourites, but can expect stiff competition from top-seeded pair of Pradnya Gadre and Jyotsna P.
In the men’s doubles’, Kerala’s Arun Vishnu and Akshay Dewalkar of Air India head the challenge.
Arun, top-seeded in the mixed doubles’ category as well, will pair up with Aparna Balan in pursuit of twin titles.
The winner in the men’s category will receive a cash prize of Rs 75,000 while women’s champion will walk away richer by Rs 50,000.
Seedings: Men’s singles: Ajay Jayaram (PSPB) 1; Anup Sridhar (PSPB) 2; Tanishk K (AP) 3; Mohit Kamat (Kar) 4; Anshuman Hazarika (Asm) 5.
Women’s singles: Trupti Murgunde (PSPB) 1; Sayali Ghokale (AI) 2; Neha Pandit (Mah) 3; PC Thulasi (Ker) 4; Mudra Dahinje (Mah) 5.