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Saina's All-England chances brighten

other Updated: Mar 09, 2011 01:37 IST
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Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal's chances of winning the All England Super Series Premier badminton championship just got better, with two top players - Tine Baun and Yihan Wang pulling out of the tournament on Tuesday.

World No. 5 Saina, has a very favourable draw devoid of any Chinese players in her half. She will play her first match on Wednesday against Korea's Seung Hee Bae. The fifth seed was the first Indian woman player to reach the semis of this tournament last year and would be looking to repeat this feat as she may not run into any Chinese or higher ranked player before the finals.

The title is now looking more achievable with defending champion Tine Baun of Denmark and last year's runner up Yihan Wang having pulled out.

No explanation has been given for Wang's withdrawal, but Baun, who won the title last year had already given a full description of the injury which had been threatening her hopes. "Three weeks ago I got an injury in my heel," she said.

"At last I had a little practice last week but for two weeks I had no practice at all. At the weekend I felt oh my god it's not possible to go to the All-England because Friday I had a lot of pain in the heel."