The action begins now. India’s top seed Saina Nehwal opens her campaign against Thilini Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka in the Yonex-Sunrise India Open on Tuesday.
“I am raring to go,” said Saina after practice on Tuesday. Talking about her opponent, Saina said she last played her in the 2006 Commonwealth Games. “I think she has dropped from 82nd in the world to 280-something, But I’ll tread with caution.”
Though the event is not exactly star-studded, Saina will face some competition from the likes of Sayali Gokhale (India) and Fu-Sin Mingtian (Singapore). “Juniors like Gokhale and Mingtian are capable of upstaging top players. So it’s better to play to one’s potential,” said Saina. The world No. 6 last visited Chennai in 2005 when she won the U-16 Krishna Khaitan Tournament. “I visited Chennai frequently from 2001 to 2005. Every time I came, I won. Hopefully, I will keep my record intact,” said the ace shuttler.
Talking about the stadium, which is organising its maiden world-class tournament, Saina said that though the stadium was prepared to conduct an event of such magnitude, things could have been better. “A few small things like cleanliness, placement of roof lights etc should be the priority. If you see the stadiums hosting Super Series championships, you will know the difference. Nevertheless, we can always try and make things better,” she said.