India's Saina Nehwal will have to beat three Chinese, whom she has never defeated before, in her quest to become the country's first world champion in badminton.
According to the draw released for the flagship event to be held in Paris later this month, Nehwal could face sixth seed Shixian Wang in the quarterfinals, third seed Xin Wang in the semis and top seed Yihan Wang in the final.
However, the road to last eight appears without any major hurdles for Nehwal as the world number 2 has a bye in the opening round.
She faces lowly rated Hsiao Huan Chen of Chinese Taipei in the second.
Indians were handed a comfortable draw in men’s singles with 14th seed Chetan Anand facing Ong Zhao Chen of Singapore and P Kashyap meeting unseeded Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand in first round matches.
But the mixed doubles combination of Jwala Gutta and V Diju has a tricky opener.
The 9th seeds face the English pair of Chris Adcock and Gabrielle White in the first round.
Rutuja finishes as runner-up in Holland
Maharashtra girl Rutuja Bhosale finished runner-up to Croat Ana Konjuh at the Windmill Cup tennis tournament for Under-14 players in Holland recently.
Rutuja, member of the Maharashtra tennis association’s Vision Programme and currently No. 2 in the under 14 girls’ group in the country, thus became the first Indian girl to reach the final of the event, considered as the Grand Slam for the age group, after nearly a decade. She accounted for Victoria Muntean of France in straight sets in the first round before upsetting top seed Viktoriya Lushkova of Ukraine 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 in the second.
In the third round, Rutuja outplayed Swede Jacqueline Cabaj Awad in three sets and then ousted eighth ranked Czech Sandra Matekova and third seed Dea Herdzealas of Bosnia in straight sets in the quarters and semifinals respectively.
Her splendid run in the event was stopped by ninth seed Ana 7-5, 6-0 in the final. In the doubles, Rutuja combined forces with Thai girl Praewpisuti Chinsakchai and lost to second seeds Lushkova and Jelena Ostapenko in the quarters.