Saina to return to action in Hong Kong

After skipping the China Super Series Premier last week because of a knee problem, Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal will now be back in action at the Hong Kong Open, beginning on Wednesday.

The world number three Saina, who recently won Denmark Super Series Premier and reached the final of French Open last month, will take on Aprilla Yuswandari in her campaign opener in the women’s singles. The 22-year-old has beaten the Indonesian twice in the past.

Saina is likely to face seventh seed Yanjiao Jiang in the quarterfinals. The Chinese player has always troubled Saina and holds a 5-0 record against the Indian.

The girl from Hyderabad has also been clubbed with some tough players in the second half of the draw, including second seed and Olympic champion Xuerui Li of China, two-time All England champion Tine Baun and Eriko Hirose.

The 2010 champion, Saina has won three titles -- Thailand Open, Indonesia Open and Denmark Open -- this year, besides winning the London Olympics bronze medal.
Rising Indian shuttler PV Sindhu, who is also in the second half of the draw, will open her campaign against Belaetrix Manuputi in another women’s singles match at Hong Kong Coliseum at Kowloon.

In the men’s singles, Ajay Jayaram will face Chinese Zhengming Wang in the first round.
World number 23 Kashyap, who also reached the quarterfinals of the London Olympics, will be up against seventh seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark.

In the qualifiers on Tuesday, Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B reached the main draw of the men’s doubles competition after prevailing 21-13, 13-21, 21-15 over Hong Kong’s Chun hei Lee and Ka Long Ng.

However, it was curtains for young shuttlers Sai Praneeth, who lost to Ka Long Ng 17-21, 21-12, 15-21, and RMV Gurusaidutt, who lost to Yan Kit Chan 18-21, 19-21 in their second round matches in the men’s singles qualifiers.

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