Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will return to Great Britain with a renewed hope of clinching the prestigious All England title but a tough draw awaits her in the women's singles of the Super Series Premier event, which starts with the qualifiers in Birmingham on Tuesday. A total of 25 Indian shuttlers will be seen in action this week.
Since 2007, Saina has been playing in the $400,000 All England Championships and her best performance so far is a semifinal finish in 2010.
In the last two years, Saina reached the quarterfinals before being humbled by lower-ranked players.
Task at hand
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist will open her campaign against Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand.
The Indian has played her four times and always had an upper hand but in their last encounter at Korea Open, the Thai girl had stretched Saina to three games.
If she clears the first hurdle, the 22-year-old will next take on Minatsu Mitani of Japan, who had spoilt her French Open title hopes when she beat the Indian at the finals.
After that test, it will be either sixth seed Shixian Wang or Yanjiao Jiang in the quarterfinals.
For the records, Saina holds a 3-1 advantage against Shixian but all the wins has been three-game affairs.
PV Sindhu too will start in the main draw for the first time and will meet Ongbamrungphan Busanan of Thailand in the opener, whom she had beaten at the Badminton Asia Youth U19 Championships last year.
In the men's singles, world number 11 Parupalli Kashyap will open his campaign against Jen Hao Hsu of Chinese Taipei and will likely take on Japan's Kenichi Tago, seeded seventh, in the second if he wins. Ajay Jayaram takes on Zhengming Wang of China in the first round.
Jwala Gutta will return to action after a seven month sabbatical. She will pair up with her partner V Diju to take on German duo of Peter Kaesbauer and Isabel Herttrich in the the mixed doubles opener.
Jwala and Prajakta Sawant will also combine for the first time in the women’s doubles and take on Thai duo of Serithammarak Artima and Peeraya Munkitamorn in the qualifiers.