New Delhi: The star Indian men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have been nominated for the 'Most Improved Player of the Year' Award by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
Satwik-Chirag, who are currently placed at the 13th spot in the world rankings, have been in a purple patch in recent months, reaching the final of the French Open in October and the semi-final of the China Open in November. Before that, the Indian duo had claimed its maiden Super 500 title at the Thailand Open in August.
The Indian duo will be fighting it out against Michelle Li (women's singles, Canada), Kim So Yeong/Kong Hee Yong (women's doubles, Korea) and Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti (mixed doubles, Indonesia) for the award.
Meanwhile, India's Pramod Bhagat has been nominated for the Male Para-Badminton Player of the Year.
However, no Indian shuttler has found nomination in the Men's and Women's Player of the Year award.
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo are in line to claim a rare hat-trick of Male Player of the Year awards, having previously won in 2017 and 2018. The Indonesians, who won eight titles this year, have been nominated alongside Kento Momota, Zheng Si Wei, and countrymen Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan.
Three of the nominees for the Female Player of the Year award are the same as 2018 -- Huang Ya Qiong, Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota and Tai Tzu Ying. Additionally, there's a fourth nominee this year -- China's women's doubles duo Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan.
The top performers of the year will be honoured at the award ceremony scheduled to take place on December 9 at Guangzhou, China.