Saina gets favourable draw, uphill task for men in Indian Open

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011, 23:32 PM IST

New Delhi: Top seed Saina Nehwal has been
handed out a favourable draw in the women`s singles but it
would be an uphill task for the Indian men shuttlers in the
USD 200,000 Indian Open Super Series, which will be held at
the Siri Fort stadium from April 26 to May 1.

World number three Saina, who won the Swiss Open last
month, will open her campaign against Japanese Ai Goto. The
girl from Hyderabad has beaten the Japanese in all their
previous three meetings.

Once the first hurdle is cross, Saina is likely to face
her new rival Eriko Hirose, seeded fifth, in the quarterfinals
in the women`s singles.

Hirose had spoilt Saina`s All England dream but the
21-year-old was quick to avenge her loss in the Swiss Open
and it would be a mouth-watering match if their path
cross in the Indian Open.

In absence of world number one Wang Shixian and second
ranked Wang Yihan of China, who skipped the event because of
their engagement in the Asian Badminton Championships,
starting from April 19 in China, Saina starts as the clear
favourite in the event, which was given a Superseries status
this year.

The only other Indian shuttler in women`s singles, Aditi
Mutatkar is also in the first half of the draw and will face a
difficult customer in fourth seed Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in
her tournament opener.

Among the men, world number 21 P kashyap will be up
against Michal Matejka of Slovakia in the first match, while
his colleagues RMV Gurusai Dutt and Ajay Jayaram will face the
unenviable task of taming fourth seed Boonsak Ponsana of
Thailand and top seed Malaysian Lee Chong Wei.

Arvind Bhat, who is currently ranked at Number 44, will
face world number 11 Sung Hwan Park of Korea, who recently won
the Swiss Open title. Anand Pawar will take on Sho Sasaki of
Japan in his first round match.

In women`s doubles, Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant will
take on Jung Kyung and Eun Kim Ha Na of Korea in the first
round, while sixth seeds Jwala Gutta and V Diju will be up
against another Korean pair of Kim Sa Rang and Jang Ye Na in
the mixed doubles.

In men`s doubles, eighth seeds Indians Rupesh Kumar and
Sanave Thomas have got a bye in the first round.