Fuzhou: Indian tennis aces Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy, who are recently crowned as the national champions, will look to boost their chances of qualifying for the next month’s Dubai Super Series Finals with good performances at the China Open Superseries Premier beginning Tuesday.
London Olympic bronze-medalist Saina, who stunned PV Sindhu 21-17, 27-25 to lift her third national title, will aim to begin her China Open campaign on a winning note when she takes on Beiwen Zhang of USA. Prannoy, on the other hand, will lock horns with a qualifier in the opening round of the men’s singles event.
Last week, Prannoy showcased a spirited performance as he rebounded strongly from a game down to beat his countryman Kidambi Srikanth 21-15, 16-21, 21-7 and win 2017 Senior National Badminton Championship. Meanwhile, Sindhu will look to get back to her winning ways after a setback against Saina when she faces Japan’s Sayaka Sato in the first round of the women’s singles event.
Srikanth, who recently became the first Indian and only the fourth male shuttler in the history to lift four Super Series titles in a calendar year by winning the French Open, will be taking a break this week to nurse a muscle strain. In another men’s singles clash, Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap will kick off his campaign in the qualifiers, facing China’s Guo Kai.