It's a tough draw: Saina
World No 2 Saina Nehwal will lead India;s challenge at the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships beginning tomorrow at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham
Saina will face World No 20 Thai Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the first round as the Olympic bronze medallist tries to better her 2010 semi-final appearance in the $350,000 tournament.
Saina Nehwal. Pic/AFP
The Hyderabadi faces a tough test from the quarter-final onwards as she could be up against former World No 1 Shixian Wang. “The draw is tough, but I will try my best to come up well,” Saina told PTI. “I took all the practice in good direction. I have a little knee problem, otherwise I am alright. I am doing my best all the times, hopefully, I will do well. Let us see what happens,” she added.
India’s rising star PV Sindhu is also in the main draw here and takes on another Thai Busanan Ongbumrungpan in her opener. In the men’s singles, Mumbai lad Ajay Jayaram starts his campaign against World No 19 Zhengming Wang of China.
London Olympics quarter-finalist and World No 11 Parupalli Kashyap will take on Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei. In the mixed doubles, Jwala Gutta makes a comeback since the London Games with V Diju, while her old-time women’s doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa will team up with Kerala shuttler Tarun Kona.
Among other Indians, are Sourabh Verma, RMV. Gurusaidutt and B Sai Praneeth who will all be vying for the last few spots remaining in the main draw via the tournament’s qualifying encounters.