Champion Saina starts favourite in Swiss Open

With the All England Championship title eluding her once again, two-time defending champion Saina Nehwal will now look to clinch the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold crown to complete a hat-trick when begins on Tuesday.

Saina, who was given top billing here, will start as favourite to defend the title in the women’s singles which will also have former world number one Shixian Wang of China and Thai teen sensation Ratchanok Intanon, among others.

The world number three will begin her campaign against Sashina Vignes Waran of France on Wednesday and is expected to have a comfortable outing till the quarterfinals where she is likely to meet sixth seed Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei.

With the 2010 Asian Games gold medallist, Shixian drawn in the second half, Saina is expected to meet her in the semifinal. The 22-year-old Indian had defeated Shixian in the quarterfinals of the All England Championship after a tight and gruelling three-game battle.

India’s rising shuttler and world number 16, P V Sindhu will take on third seed Ji Hyun Sung in her opening match. In the men’s singles, world number nine and fifth seed Parupalli Kashyap face Hsuan Yi Hsueh of Chinese Taipei and is likely to face Malaysia’s Wei Feng Chong in the pre-quarters.

Among others, Sourabh Verma will take on 14th seed Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia, while Sai Praneeth will clash with sixth seed Daren Liew of Malaysia and K Srikanth will meet Denmark’s fourth seed Jan O Jorgensen.

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