Saina to Meet Hongyan in All-England Opener


PTI

New Delhi, Mar 3: Returning to the court after a three-week injury lay-off, Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal will open her campaign against old rival French Hongyan Pi in the Yonex All-England Open Super Series on Wednesday.

A shoulder injury had forced the Indian world No. 10 to skip the National Badminton Championships last month and coach Pullela Gopichand feels although she is fit, she could be a little wary since this would be her first tournament after coming back from injury.

"I don't think the injury will have any bearing on her performance but yes, since it is her first tournament after the injury, she may feel a bit wary in the initial moments," Gopichand said.

The former All-England Champion said the first match would be a tough one and decide the course of the tournament.

"The first match is against Hongyan, it would be a tough match. Although Saina has defeated her in the past, the French is having a good form at the moment. If Saina can get past her things could turn out well for her," he said.

World number 13 Chetan Anand, who also stayed away from the National championship owing to a thigh injury, will take on Andrew Smith of England in the first round on Wednesday.

Among other Indians in fray, Anup Sridhar will lock horns with Malaysian Beng Hong Kuan while Anand Pawar will take on Carl Baxter of England in the qualifiers of the men's single category on Wednesday.

The Indian women doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurian will face Malaysian duo Chiou Hwee Haw and Pek Siah Lim in the opening round on Wednesday. 

  

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