More than a year has passed by since Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal won a title and the Olympic bronze medallist will now eyes a late flourish when she begins her campaign at the Hong Kong Super Series on Wednesday to end the troubled season on a high. Saina will once again resume her hunt for the first title of the season at the $350,000 event, which she had won three years ago. The last title that Saina won was Denmark Open in October 2012.
The seventh seeded Indian will open her campaign against Indonesia’s Bellaetrix Manuputty in the women’s singles competition. The 23-year-old had a difficult season as she grappled with injuries and inconsistent form. The Indian had bowed out of the second round of China Open last week after suffering a defeat against unseeded Sun Yu of China.
The world number seven Indian will take on either Eriko Hirose of Japan or Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand in the second round once she cross the first hurdle. If she manages to win the second round, world number one
Li Xuerui is likely to wait for her in the quarterfinals. Other Indian in the women’s singles competition is PV Sindhu and the world No. 10 will face second seeded Thai Ratchanok Intanon, who had beaten her in the world championship in China in August this year.
In men’s singles, Parupalli Kashyap will take on Zhengming Wang of China, while Ajay Jayaram will cross swords with seventh seed Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam and K Srikanth will have an uphill climb against top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. In men’s doubles competition, Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra will have an unenviable task of taming the top seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
Mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Tarun Kona will be up against seventh seeds Praveen Jordan and Vita Marissa of Indonesia.