Kidambi Srikanth's loss comes in a surprise as he fell short to World No.51 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito. On the other hand, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal had contrasting wins in the first round of the Asia Badminton Championship.
The last time an Indian had won the All England Championship was way back in 2001 by current national coach Pullela Gopichand, while Prakash Padukone was the first from the country to win the coveted crown in 1980.
This is the first time the prestigious Nationals is returning to the North-East since Guwahati last hosted it in 2010.
A strong Indian badminton team feat Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma will compete in the Jakarta event.
Sindhu, who lost to Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the final last year, will play another Japanese girl in Sunday's final.
Playing her third successive year-ending finale, Sindhu beat Beiwen Zhang 21-9 21-15 in a one-sided women's singles contest to top Group A.
Sindhu, who had finished runners-up in the last edition, gave ample display of her grit as she bounced back from a game down to record her first win over Asian Games champion Tzu Ying since the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The top two players from each group will qualify for the semifinals, after which a knockout draw will be conducted.
Verma beats his Chinese opponent Lu Guangzu 16-21, 21-19, 21-14 in the summit clash, which lasted one hour and 10 minutes.
A farmer sits near his red chillies at a deserted APMC market, during the weekend curfew imposed by the Karnataka government to curb the spread of COVID-19, in Hubballi.PTI Photo
Delhi Chief Minister & AAP National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal being welcomed by women supporters during his door-to-door campaign ahead of the Goa Assembly elections, in Goa.PTI Photo
A health worker collects swab sample of a woman for COVID-19 test, amid concerns over rising Omicron cases, in Gurugram.PTI Photo
Traffic jam on a road at Shalimar Bagh during the weekend curfew imposed by the Delhi government to curb the spread of Covid-19, in New Delhi.PTI Photo/ Shahbaz Khan
The Lajpat Nagar market wears a deserted look during the weekend curfew imposed by the Delhi government to curb the spread of Covid-19, in New Delhi.PTI Photo/ Shahbaz Khan
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