China Open: Badminton star Saina Nehwal eyes comeback, Rio silver medallist PV Sindhu aspires for maiden title

15 November 2016, 06:47 PM
Badminton star Saina Nehwal eyes comeback whereas PV Sindhu aims for maiden title in China (Image Source: Getty)
Badminton star Saina Nehwal eyes comeback whereas PV Sindhu aims for maiden title in China (Image Source: Getty)

Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal will make a comeback on the court as the Thaihot China Open Super Series Premier begins on Wednesday.

Three months ago, Nehwal, suffering from a severe knee injury, had limped out of the Rio Olympics and thus the tournament will be a good stage to test her recovery.

Saina, the bronze-medallist at London Olympics, lost in her second match of the Rio Olympics to lower-ranked Maria Ulitina of Ukraine and what followed was a surgery and a long rehabilitation program.

After spending some time training under coach Vimal Kumar, Saina decided to give the China Open a shot, a title she had won two years back and finished runners-up in the last edition.

The Indian will be up against Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, who she has beaten as many as nine times in the past, but the fourth seed knows well that those record won't matter when she walks out to the court tomorrow.

"Saina is still short of endurance and strength," Vimal had said earlier.

While Saina will resume her international journey, young P V Sindhu, who meanwhile became the toast of the nation after becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal at Rio, will look to annex her first super series title.

After two second round exits, seventh seed Sindhu will hope for better results when she begins her campaign against Chia Hsin Lee of Chinese Taipei. 

"My training has been very good. I am prepared well. I haven't seen the draw. It doesn't matter I guess since you have to play every good player at some stage.

Nobody is going to be easy and everybody will fight till the last point so even if it is a lower ranked player, you have to give your best," Sindhu said.

In men's singles, Ajay Jayaram will be up against Zhu Siyuan of China, H S Prannoy will meet Hong Kong's Ng Ka Long Angus and B Sai Praneeth will face the experienced German Marc Zwiebler in the opening round.

First Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 06:19 PM
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