Incheon:All four Indian shuttlers in singles, including main medal hope Saina Nehwal, have secured a tough draw in the individual events of 17th Asian Games badminton commencing on September 24.
Olympic bronze medallist Saina, who had lost out on a chance to win a maiden medal four years ago at Guangzhou, has been seeded sixth.
The world no. 7 would be up against no. 2 seed Wang Yihan of China if she wins her first and second round matches against less fancied opponents U Teng Lok of Macau and the winner of Khulangoo Baatar (Mongolia)/A Suraya (Iran).
Saina has a very poor win-loss record against Yihan, suffering reverses against the world no. 3 Chinese player eight times in nine match-ups, the lone victory coming in the Denmark Open two years ago when her opponent, the no. 1 seed in the event, retired after dropping the opening game and trailing in the second.
Saina has lost to the 2012 London Olympic Games silver medallist and 2011 world champion most recently in April in the India Open at Delhi.
P V Sindhu, the world no. 10, also has a formidable task if she has to reach the semi finals as she is expected to run into Olympic champion Li Xuerei in the quarter finals after a comparatively easy round of 32 match against Wong Kit Leng of Macau and, if she sails through, pre quarter final clash against the winner of Yip Pul Yin (Hong Kong)/D Munkhbayar (Mongolia).
Men’s main hope and London Olympics quarter finalist Parupalli Kashyap and his compatriot K Srikkanth, too, will not have things easy after easy round of 32 matches.
Given a bye in the round of 64, Kashyap has drawn top seed and former world champion Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia as his likely round of 16 opponent, while Srikanth, who too has drawn a bye in round one and has a comparatively easy second round too, has reigning world champion and second seed Chen Long of China awaiting him in the quarter finals.
The draw also includes former world and 2012 Olympic champion Lin Dan of China who is unseeded.
India are fielding Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy in the women’s doubles and Pranav Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar in the men’s.
Pradnya and Dewalkar would be the Indian mixed doubles pair.