Ratchanok, Pornpawee to face badminton world No.1

Ratchanok, Pornpawee to face badminton world No.1

Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon hits a shot against India's Pusarla V. Sindhu during their women's singles match at the Toyota Thailand Open badminton tournament in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo: Badminton Association of Thailand/AFP)
Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon hits a shot against India's Pusarla V. Sindhu during their women's singles match at the Toyota Thailand Open badminton tournament in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo: Badminton Association of Thailand/AFP)

Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon and Pornpawee Chochuwon were handed a tough draw on Tuesday at the badminton World Tour Finals.

Former world champion Ratchanok and Pornpawee were bracketed with current world number one Tai Tzu-ying and Indian Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu for the round-robin stage of the biosecure tournament in Bangkok.

The delayed 2020 season finale, starting Wednesday, is the third behind-closed-doors event in three weeks in the capital as badminton resumes after months of near-inactivity owing to the coronavirus.

Spanish top seed Carolina Marin, seeking a hat-trick of wins in Bangkok, will face South Korean teen sensation An Se-young, Canada's Michelle Li and Russia's Evgeniya Kosetskaya in Group A.

In the men's singles, Denmark's Viktor Axelsen -- who is also unbeaten over the past fortnight -- faces Taiwan's world number two Chou Tien-chen, Indonesia's Anthony Ginting and Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia.

Men's champion Kento Momota tested positive just before the tournaments began, forcing him to withdraw along with the entire Japanese team.

China's team, including women's title-holder Chen Yufei, were unable to travel because of the country's strict coronavirus rules.

Despite the biosecurity arrangements, four people inside the Bangkok "bubble" have tested positive for the coronavirus, including two players who were forced to withdraw.

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