After skipping the season-opening Korea Open due to fitness issues, a fit-again SainaNehwal will now start her campaign in the USD 500,000 Malaysia Super Series Premier which starts with the qualifiers here on Tuesday.
Saina, seeded eighth, had endured a tough season last year as she could not win a single title. She also decided to miss the Senior Nationals in December and last week’s Korea Open after suffering from cough and cold.
However, the world number eight Indian is now fully fit and is rearing to go, as she prepares to open her campaign against Indonesia’s Hera Desi in the first round at the Putra stadium on Wednesday.
It won’t be an easy march ahead for Saina as top Chinese shuttlers — Li Xuerui and Yihan Wang — are also placed in the first half of the draw.
In the last two years Saina had reached the semifinals but the 23-year-old will look to better that record this time. The Olympic bronze medallist is likely to meet world number 30 Yao Xue of China in the second round.
Rising shuttler PV Sindhu, who also skipped the Korea Open after winning the Senior Nationals in December, will meet Indonesia’s London Fanetri, ranked 20 in the world, in the second half of the draw in her season opener.
The world number 11 has been in good form last year as she won Malaysia Grand Prix Gold and Macau Open, besides winning the prestigious bronze medal in the World Championship in Guangzhou, China.
If Sindhu can get past Lindaweni, the 18-year-old is likely to meet sixth seed YeonJuBae of Korea in the second round.