Saina & Co starts campaign at Australia Open
Saina Nehwal will now look to better her performance when she leads the Indian challenge in the USD 750,000 Star Australian Badminton Open, starting here tomorrow
Sydney: After a quarterfinal exit last week, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal will now look to better her performance when she leads the Indian challenge in the USD 750,000 Star Australian Badminton Open, starting here tomorrow.
The 23-year-old Indian has been struggling for the last one-and-a-half year with just one title to show in the form of India Grand Prix Gold in January.
However, she won all her matches in the Uber Cup to help India win bronze in the tournament. But her comeback at Indonesia ended in the last eight stage and Saina will be itching for a title at Australia.
World number nine, Saina, seeded sixth, will be up against a difficult customer in Sun Yu of China in the very first round. Sun Yu had made some good progress in international circuit, reaching the finals of Swiss Open this year and Singapore Open 2013.
Eighth seed P V Sindhu, ranked 10th in the world, will open her account against qualifier Aya Ohori of Japan, while P C Thulasi will be up against Malaysia’s Jamie Subandhi in the women’s singles first round at States Sports Centre tomorrow.
In the men’s singles, B Sai Praneeth will be playing a qualifier in the first round, while H S Prannoy will have to overcome the challenge from eight seeded German shuttler Marc Zwiebler if he has to proceed further in the tournament.
Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan will meet Ross Smith and Renuga Veeran in the first round of mixed doubles. Pradyna Gadre and Sikki Reddy will face eighth seeded Indonesian pair of Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth and Rizki Amelia Pradipta in women’s doubles.
In men’s doubles, Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy will meet seventh seeded Chinese combo of Haifeng Fu and Nan Zhang.
Among others, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar will take on Singapore’s Yong Kai Terry Hee and Zi Liang Derek Wong, while Alwin Francis and Arun Vishnu will square off against qualifiers.