New Delhi: Chinese badminton icon Lin Dan will make his debut at the fifth edition of the $275,000 Yonex Sunrise India Open Superseries tournament that gets under way at the Siri Fort Sports Complex on March 24.
During the tournament, the five-time world champion will play his first individual event in India since completing a hat-trick of world titles in Hyderabad in 2009.
The 31-year-old was in the capital last year to represent China in the Thomas Cup but he was playing on and off at that time.
Lin had made it clear that he will play more tournaments to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games to be played in Rio.
The superstar is now keen to become China’s first men’s singles player to bag the prestigious crown in his first appearance.
Lin is expected to face challenges from top seed Jan O. Jorgensen of Denmark and home star Kidambi Srikanth, the China Open Superseries premier champion who had beaten him in the final, apart from his compatriot and seventh seed Zhemgming Wang.
In the women’s section, world number three Saina Nehwal has been given top billing with world and All England champion Carolina Marin of Spain leading the charge in the bottom half of the draw.
The first Indian woman to reach the All England final, Saina will look to win her maiden India Superseries crown, having won the tournament in 2010 when the tournament was still a Grand Prix Gold event.