After skipping the Korea Open, World No. 1 badminton player Saina Nehwal will be back in action when she leads the Indian challenge at the Denmark Open, sharing some of the limelight in the $650,000 Super Series Premier event with Ajay Jayaram, who clinched the Dutch Open on Sunday.
Nehwal, who clinched the Denmark title in 2012, is supremely confident after weaving some stupendous performances this year and the Indian ace will look to continue her dominant run when she begins her campaign against Busanan Ongbumrungphan of Thailand on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old from Hyderabad, who won the India Super Series and Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold, a silver medal at the World Championships and a runners-up finish at All England, is likely to be tested only after the quarterfinals if she plays to her reputation.
Also brimming with confidence will be Jayaram, who reached his maiden Super Series final at the Korea Open in September and then defended his men’s singles title at the Dutch Open Grand Prix last night. The Mumbai-born shuttler will have to go through the qualifiers, where he will take on Germany’s Fabian Roth at the Odense Sports Park on Tuesday.
“Danish Open Super Series will offer bigger challenges. I am looking to take the positives from this tournament (Dutch Open) and give my best next week,” Jayaram said after winning the men’s singles title at Almere in the Netherlands.
Blowing hot and cold this year, PV Sindhu, two-time bronze medallist at the World Championship, will also look to put her best foot forward when she starts her campaign against Indonesia’s Maria Febe Kusumastuti. In men’s singles, World No. 5 Kidambi Srikanth, Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap and World No. 16 HS Prannoy will lead the Indian men’s challenge.
While Srikanth’s first-round opponent is yet to be decided after the withdrawl of Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, Kashyap will have to fight it out against former world No. 1 and two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Prannoy will take on Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao. The Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, who finished runners-up at the Dutch Open on Sunday, will square up against the English duo of Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge.
In women’s doubles, the 2014 Commonwealth Games silver-winning pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will be back in business after missing the Korea Open, starting against Japanese seventh seeds Reika Kakiiwa and Miyuki Maeda.