Saina aims turnaround

Saina aims turnaround

Three-time champion Saina Nehwal will look to fashion a turn around when she returns to her favourite hunting ground at the Indonesian Super Series Premier badminton tournament to defend her women’s singles title from Tuesday.

The World number two Indian has been going through a lean patch this season. Though she reached the semifinals of the All England and Swiss Open earlier this year, Saina has not been able to win any tournament since last October.

The Olympic bronze medallist also suffered a couple of defeats to lower-ranked players like Yui Hashimoto of Japan in the Indian Open and Juan Gu at the Thailand Open.
But the 23-year-old from Hyderabad, who has scripted many memorable wins at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium here, will look to get her bearings when she opens her title defence against local player Lindaweni Fanetri.

The 2009, 2010 and 2012 winner has been clubbed in the second half of the draw and is likely to meet seventh seed Chinese Shixian Wang in the quarterfinals if she can get past the two initial rounds.

If Saina can get across her old rival Shixian, then she is expected to meet the fourth seeded German Juliane Schenk in semifinals.

The top seed Xuerui Li and third seed Yihan Wang of China and the teen sensation Ratchanok Intanon, seeded fifth, who won the Thailand Grand Prix last week, are in the first half of the draw.