India’s badminton ace, Saina Nehwal, will continue her quest for a maiden title this season, to boost her confidence ahead of the Rio Olympics, ahead of the qualifiers campaign at the $900,000 Indonesia Open Super Series Premier, on Monday.
After missing a few tournaments due to a nagging ankle injury, Saina recovered well to notch up a consistent run of form, reaching the semi-finals in a slew of events, including the India Open, Malaysia Open and Asian Championship.
En route to Indian eves’ bronze medal winning feat at the Uber Cup, Saina won all her matches in the league stage, but then lost to Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon and China’s Li Xuerui in the knockout stages.
Saina, who had won the Indonesia Open title in 2009, 2010 and 2012, will hope to come up with a better show against the top seeds and grab her fourth crown.
She opens her campaign against Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu Po on Tuesday. However, PV Sindhu has decided to give the tournament a miss as she would be training after a hectic schedule last month.
In the men’s singles, K Srikanth and Ajay Jayaram decided to skip the event, while P Kashyap is undergoing physiotherapy after being operated for an injury. HS Prannoy will also miss the event as he is still recovering from a toe injury.
In the qualifiers, B Sai Praneeth and RMV Gurusaidutt too will miss out and national champion Sameer Verma will be the only Indian competing in men’s singles after he was promoted to the main draw.
Other Rio-bound shuttlers who also include 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallists, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, will be up against the Indonesian pair of Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma and Ribka Sugiarto in the women’s doubles, while Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will face Philippines’ Peter Gabriel Magnaye and Alvin Morada in the men’s doubles.