Former Champions Saina Nehwal, Sourabh Verma Lead India’s Charge At Chinese Taipei Open

Former Champions Saina Nehwal, Sourabh Verma Lead India

Saina Nehwal, after her shock defeat in the Round of 16 of BWF World Championships, will return to the court for the first time at the Chinese Taipei BWF World Tour Super 300 which starts with qualifiers on Tuesday. Sourabh Verma will also present challenge in the men’s singles category. Saina is the top-seeded player in the women’s singles category while Sourabh Verma has been seeded third in the men’s singles event. Heading into the tournament, Saina and Verma will draw confidence from the fact that they have won the tournament in the past — Saina won in 2008 while Verma triumphed three years back.

Another Indian shuttler who will head into the tournament with renewed confidence is HS Prannoy, who shocked Chinese legend Lin Dan in the recently concluded World Championships.

World No. 8 Saina bowed out of the Worlds after her Round of 16 defeat to Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt.

She had slammed the umpiring after the match that lasted an hour and 12 minutes. Saina lost 21-15, 25-27, 12-21 to the lower-ranked Blichfeldt despite having two match points in the second game. She will take on Korea’s An Se Young in the opening round.

In the men’s singles, Sourabh will open his campaign against Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai.

Prannoy will meet Wang Tzu Wei in the first round while Sameer Verma will lock horns with Malaysia’s Daren Liew.

The women’s doubles pair of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant will take on sixth seeds Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean of Malaysia in the first round.

(With IANS inputs)

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