Bolstered by a favourable draw, a fit-again Saina Nehwal will look to record her maiden podium finish when she leads the country’s strongest ever squad at the 2013 BWF World Championships to be played here from August 5-11.
A medal at the World Cha-mpionships has eluded Saina so far as she could only reach the quarterfinals in the last two editions in 2009 and 2011.
Luck seems to be at her side as she has got a bye in the first round and will open her campaign against the winner of Russian Olga Golovanova (ranked 66) and Bulgarian Alesia Zaitsava (ranked 104). Saina is likely to meet her first challenger in Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, who is ranked No.18 in the world.
She may face either Japanese Minatsu Mitani (ranked 10th) or Korean Bae Yeon Ju (ranked 16th) in the quarterfinals. “There were doubts in my mind in June as I was not 100 per cent fit but I have been working very hard for the last few weeks,” said Saina, who may run into Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui of China in the semis.