All eyes on fit-again Saina

All eyes on fit-again Saina

After skipping the season-opening Korea Open due to fitness issues, Saina Nehwal will start her campaign in the USD 500,000 Malaysia Super Series Premier which starts with the qualifiers here on Tuesday.

Saina, seeded eighth, had endured a tough season last year as she could not win a single title. She also decided to miss the Senior Nationals in December and last week’s Korea Open after suffering from cough and cold.

However, the world number eight Indian is now fully fit and is raring to go, as she prepares to open her campaign against Indonesia’s Hera Desi in the first round at the Putra stadium on Wednesday.

It won’t be an easy march ahead for Saina as top Chinese shuttlers — Li Xuerui and Yihan Wang — are also placed in the top half of the draw.

In the last two years Saina had reached the semifinals but the 23-year-old will look to better that record this time. The Olympic bronze medallist is likely to meet world number 30 Yao Xue of China in the second round.

P V Sindhu, who also skipped the Korea Open after winning the Senior Nationals in December, will meet Indonesia’s London Fanetri, ranked 20 in the world.

The world number 11 has been in good form last year as she won Malaysia Grand Prix Gold and Macau Open, besides winning the prestigious bronze medal in the World Championship in Guangzhou, China.

In the men’s singles category, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Parupalli Kashyap will lead the Indian challenge when he opens his campaign against Germany’s Marc Zwiebler in the first round.

National champion K Srikanth takes on Hong Kong’s Yun Hu in his opener. There are no Indians in the doubles competitions. 

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