Indian shuttlers confident of good show in World Championship

Indian shuttlers confident of good show in World Championship

Saina Nehwal plays during a practice session in Hyderabad on Saturday. AP

Back in the court after recovering from a mild bout of chicken pox, sixth seed Saina will carry India's hopes and the 20-year-old has been handed a good draw, getting a bye in the first round.

"It is a good draw but not at all an easy one because there are quite a few quality players in there and obviously everyone has got a month break to practice and train themselves. So all of them would be fresh and raring to go," Saina said.

"I would not like to set any target and rather look at one game at a time and give my best that I usually do and see what happens.

"Preparation has been going on well. I am quite prepared and fit. I just want to go there and give my 100 per cent," she added.

Saina will play her first match in the tournament against the winner of the match between Polish Olga Konon and Russian Anastasia Prokopenko, in the second round.

In men's singles, Chetan will spearhead India's challenge and the 15th seed will open his campaign against Ji Hoon Hong of Korea.

"It is an okay draw for me. I am playing a Korean in the first round. I have never played him before but I have seen him play. So it would be a good match," said Chetan, also ranked 15th in the world.

"I would like to concentrate on my game and play freely and I know if I can do that I can pull it off," he added.

If the 29-year-old Indian gets past Ji, Chetan is likely to meet sixth-seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia in the second round.

"Last year I defeated Kuncoro in the Denmark Open Super Series, so I am not scared of him. I just want to enjoy and play my natural game. I am not too worried about results and want to give my 100 per cent," he said.

Another prominent Indian in fray in men's singles is world number 24 Bhat, who has been handed a difficult draw but the current national champion said it wasn't "too bad."

"The draw isn't too bad even though I play ninth-seed Yu Hsing Hsieh of Taiwan in the first round. I know I have not won against him in the last two encounters but I still feel he is beatable. I would like to take it one match at a time," said Bhat.

Wild card entrant Indians P Kashyap and Sayali Gokhale lock horns with Ireland's Ali Shahhosseini and Jie Yao of the Netherlands in their openers respectively.

Also there is world number 32 Aditi Mutatkar facing 11th seed Juliane Schenk of Germany in women's singles first round.

India will also have high hopes from the doubles pairs -- men's, women's and mixed -- after their successes in recent tournaments.

World number eight pair of V Diju and Jwala Gutta are India's best bet in the doubles. The pair got a bye in the first round and open their campiagn against English duo Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork in the second round.

Similarly, the men's doubles pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas, who won the New Zealand Open Grand Prix and finished runners-up in the Australian Open Grand Prix recently, are also in red-hot form.

The world number 18 Indian pair will meet the 14th seeded Japanese duo Kenichi Hayakawa and Kenta Kazuno in their opener.

Even the new women's doubles pair of Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurian have done well in Australia and New Zealand, coming second both the times.

The duo got a bye in the first round but will have a difficult job at hand against second seeded Chinese pair of Shu Cheng and Yunlei Zhao in the second round.

There are also a couple of youngsters to look forward to as Akshay Dewalkar and Jishnu Sanyal clash with Thai Patipat Chalardchaleam and Nuttaphon Narkthong.

Another combination of Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu face 13th seeded pair of Hung Ling Chen and Yu Lang Lin of Chinese Taipei.