All eyes on World No 2 Saina at All England
A Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will return to Great Britain with a renewed hope of clinching the prestigious All England title but a tough...
A Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will return to Great Britain with a renewed hope of clinching the prestigious All England title but a tough draw awaits her in the women's singles of the Super Series Premier event, which starts with the qualifiers here on Tuesday. Ever since 2007, Saina has been playing in the $ 400,000 All England Championship and her best performance so far is a semifinal finish at the 2010 edition. In the last two years, Saina reached the quarterfinals of the event before being humbled by lower-ranked players and the second seeded Indian will have to be on her guard this year as well. The Commonwealth Games gold medallist will open her campaign against Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand. The Indian has played her four times and always had an upper hand but in their last encounter at Korea Open, the Thai girl had stretched Saina to three games. If she clears the first hurdle, the 22-year-old will next take on Minatsu Mitani of Japan, who had spoilt her French Open title hopes when she beat the Indian at the finals. Even though Saina has beaten her thrice in the past, she needs to be careful of the Japanese. If she can cross the second hurdle as well, then it will be either sixth seed Shixian Wang or Yanjiao Jiang in the quarterfinals. However, Saina is likely to prefer Shixian over Jiang as the Indian has never beaten the the world number 12 in their five encounters. "I am doing my best all the times, hopefully, I will do well. Let us see what happens," Saina said. Rising shuttler P V Sindhu too will start in the main draw for the first time and will meet Ongbamrungphan Busanan of Thailand in the opening round. In the men's singles, world number 11 Parupalli Kashyap will open his campaign against Jen Hao Hsu of Chinese Taipei and will likely take on Japan's Kenichi Tago, seeded seventh, in the second round. Ajay Jayaram is the other Indian who will start in the men's singles main draw, taking on Zhengming Wang of China in the first round.
17 Jan 2020 5:20 PM GMT