China Open winners Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth eye Hong Kong titles
Fresh from their sensational title triumphs in China, India's top shuttlers Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth will now train their guns on the USD 350,000 Hong Kong Open Super Series which gets underway with the qualifiers in Kowloon on Tuesday.
Hong Kong: Fresh from their sensational title triumphs in China, India's top shuttlers Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth will now train their guns on the USD 350,000 Hong Kong Open Super Series which gets underway with the qualifiers in Kowloon on Tuesday.
Saina and Srikanth created history yesterday by winning the women's and men's singles titles respectively in the China Open Super Series Premier tournament at Fuzhou.
While Saina registered her third title of the season, it was young Srikanth who grabbed the headlines by becoming the first Indian male player to win a Super Series Premier event and that too after slaying two-time Olympic Champion Lin Dan, considered to be world's greatest shuttler.
However, both Saina and Srikanth will hardly have any time to savour their success or recover from the gruelling tournament in China as they start their campaign in the main draw of Hong Kong Open.
This WAS the first time that two Indians have not only reached the finals of a Super Series Premier tournament but also won it. No doubt, the duo will be high in confidence and they would hope it will carry them through in Hong Kong.
While Srikanth, who beat Lin Dan in straight-games in the finals yesterday at Fuzou, will start his campaign against Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen, seeded seventh. The Indian has never played against the World No. 8, who last played at Bitburger Open which he won early this month.
24-year-old Saina, who had won the tournament four years back, will have an easy task at hand as she takes on hitherto-unknown Jamie Subandhi of USA in her campaign opener.
Among other Indians, Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap will be up against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand. The duo has faced each other five times and the Thai had beaten the Indian thrice but Kashyap had the upper hand in the last two meetings.
Also in action will be Indian teen sensation, P V Sindhu, who skipped the China Open to prepare for the Hong Kong Open and Macau Open. The two-time World Championship bronze medallist shuttler will face Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand in the first round.
Sindhu has beaten the Thai girl thrice, the last being during the Badminton Asia Championships in April.
In the women's doubles, 2010 Commonwealth Games Champions Jwala and Ashwini will meet Yin Loo Lim and Meng Yean Lee of Malaysia, while Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will fight it out against Indonesian pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, seeded second.