Saina set for tough return, Jwala-Diju aim for 2nd title


After reaching the quarterfinal of the World Badminton Championship last month, Saina missed the China Masters as she missed the deadline to send her entry.
The Hyderabadi girl returns to action now, opening her campaign against world number 10 Chinese Yanjiao Jiang in the women's singles tomorrow.
Eighth seed Saina said it would be a tough battle but promised to give the Chinese a good fight.
"It is a tough draw. I am in the second half and there are players like Pi Hongyan, Tine Russmussen. So, it is difficult but I am not bothered. At the moment, it's just the first match and I am well prepared for the challenge.

"I am playing the world number 10 and I have played her twice and the last time was in the Asian Championship. I lost in three sets. But I am prepared this time and will give her a good fight," she said.
India's hopes will also rest on Jwala and Diju, who won the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold last month.
The seventh seeded pair will open their campaign against the Thai pair of Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thungthongkam and Diju said they are aiming for at least the semifinals.

"I am aiming to reach at least the semifinals. Winning the Chinese Taipei title has helped my confidence and I am enjoying my game now," Diju said.
However, his partner Jwala refused to set any targets.
"I don't believe in setting targets. We have been training hard and are well prepared for the tournament. I just want to perform consistently," Jwala said.

"We are playing a Thai pair in the first round and they are really good. They were in the top five earlier but they haven't played in the last couple of tournaments.

"We played them in the first Indian Open two years ago. We lost in the first round. I know things are different now but they are very experienced and we cannot take them lightly," Jwala said.
Jwala will also pair up with Ashwini Ponnappa in women's doubles. Jwala-Ashwini will open their campaign against the seventh seeded Japanese pair of Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna.
"Me and Ashwini have been performing consistently. We reached the quarter-finals in Taiwan and I'm confident, we will be performing well in Japan too," Jwala said.
In men's singles, P Kashyap will spearhead the Indian challenge and has a relatively easy opener against qualifier Takuma Ueda of Japan.

In men's doubles, Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas will open their campaign against the Korean pair of Sung Hyun Ko and Yi Goo Kwon in the men's doubles event.

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