The French Open tournament and BWF calendar have been inseparable. Ever since the inception of the event in 1908, the tournament has been a regular feature which takes place at Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris, the event did not take place from 1914 to 1934, but after that, it has been played on the consistent basis.
The 2018 French Open will witness the likes of P.V. Sindhu, Srikanth Kidambi and Saina Nehwal ready to challenge the other top shuttlers from the world to lift the crown. While Srikanth is the defending champion Saina and Sindhu will be slogging it out in the Women’s singles category to win their maiden title.
The tournament has seen India producing some of the finest players. The 2017 edition of the French Open proved to be a particularly successful outing for Indians as 25-year-old Srikanth Kidambi became the fifth person to lift the French Open trophy from this country.
Indians have the most number of wins in the men’s singles category, while women’s singles and men’s doubles too have lifted the title. The women’s doubles and mixed doubles sections have had the dry spell so far with no title to their name.
Here’s having a look at the past Indian winners of the tournament category-wise:
This category has seen India tasting more success in the tournament. So far five Indians have gone onto lift the coveted trophy in the event’s history. The first Indian to conquest the French territories was Olympian and former chief national coach of India Vimal Kumar. He won the title for two consecutive years in 1983-84.
He currently is the director at the Prakash Padukone Academy in Bangalore now and is quite a renowned name in Indian badminton.
The second title came in the year 2000 when Siddharth Jain shot into fame by lifting the title. The very next year it was the Allahabad-born Olympian Abhinn Shyam Gupta who scripted history by defending it in 2001.
After 2001 there were no other men shuttlers who went onto lift the title, however, it was untill last year that Srikanth Kidambi’s overcame Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in straight games to gift India its fifth title.
The success have been hard to come by for the female counterpart in the competition as the country did not have shuttlers who could provide a competition for other players. Then came Aparna Popat and went onto lift the title in 1998. She is so far the only female shuttler to achieve the feat and also won Arjuna Award for her contribution to trhe sport.
A decade later PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal become the poster girls of women’s badminton and went onto conquer the world of badminton ubder the guidance of Pullela Gopichand. Inspite of winning other titles both the shuttlers hare yet to taste the French Open success. Both Nehwal and Sindhu have been in spectacular form this year performing extremely well in the Commonwealth Games and the recently-concluded Asian Games, and are therefore strong contenders for this year’s French Open title.
The category where Indian have failed to lift the trophy for over two decade. The country’s maiden triumph came back in 1956 when A.C.Bahree paired up with C.L Yap of Malaysia to win the title.
After a gap, the second title came in 1983 when the duo of Partho Ganguli and Vikram Singh took over and won the title. Ever since then, no other Indian pair have been able to lift the title. With the young and promising pair of Satwick Ranikreddy and Chirag Shetty doing well in the tournaments, they will be looking to break the drought this year.