Rising badminton player Unnati Hooda will be the star attraction when the Yonex Sunrise Guwahati Masters Super 100 tournament begins with the qualifying rounds here on Tuesday.
Ranked 79th in the world, Unnati will play her opening match against Stephanie Widjaja of Indonesia in the tournament that has the likes of Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen and Supanida Katethong, among others, in the draw sheet.
Unnati, who has won all the BWF Super 100 tournaments played in the country so far, will hope to break into the top-50 of the BWF rankings with a win.
The 16-year-old had earlier set a modest target of breaking into the top-100 in the BWF world ranking by the end of this year.
But Unnati has surpassed that target with back-to-back titles in Abu Dhabi and Raipur, and is hoping to get within touching distance of the top-50 spot with a strong showing here.
“Our target this year was to only break into the top-100 world ranking. But I managed to finish second in the Infosys Open in Bengaluru and won titles in Abu Dhabi and Chhattisgarh and I was able to achieve that goal quickly.
“I have prepared well for this tournament and I am hoping that a good run here will inch me closer to the top-50 mark,” said Unnati, who recently reached the second round of the Syed Modi Super 300 meet in Lucknow.
On her experience in the Syed Modi event, Unnati said that getting to play against the likes of former world champion Nozomi Okuhara was fantastic and added that she was now looking for consistency.
“Some tournaments I play well but in some I don’t. I am continuing to find that balance between training and tournaments in consultation with my coaches to ensure that I become more consistent next year,” she added.
Guwahati hosted the first India International Challenge in 2007. The Super 100 event on the BWF Tour is one level above the Challenge event and will provide players with valuable ranking points.
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