Still looking for her maiden title this season, shuttler Saina Nehwal would be keen to put her best foot forward at the French Super Series even as the rest of Indians face a tough draw in the badminton tournament, which begins with the qualifiers in Paris on Tuesday.
Saina will open her campaign against Thailand’s Nichaon Jindapon on Wednesday.
The Indian had been in good form at the Indian Badminton League (IBL) and though she looked to be in good touch for most part of the tournament, Saina could not prevent a quarterfinal exit in the Denmark Open, her first event since the IBL.
“I am in good form. I had slipped unfortunately during the match against Ji Hyun Sung. It was a minor thing, I did some stretching and a few exercises and then I was okay. In fact, I was in control of the match too but then she was also playing well and in the end, she won,” said Saina.
“Now I am looking forward to the French Open, where I had finished as runners up. I don’t know what God has in store for me. I will give my best and hope to do well.”
But it will a bigger challenge for PV Sindhu, as she faces sixth seed Ji Hyun Sung, who had ended Saina’s run at Denmark.
In the men’s singles, Parupalli Kashyap will clash with top seed Lee Chong Wei, while world number 25 Ajay Jayaram will meet Kazumasa Sakai of Japan in the opening round.
RMV Gurusaidutt will also face a tricky Chinese in Chen Yuekun, ranked 29th, in the first round.
Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will begin their campaign against Gebby Ristiyani Imawan and Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah in the women’s doubles competition.
Ashwini will again pair up with Tarun Kona to take on Scotland’s Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier in the mixed doubles competition.
In the qualifiers, Arundhati Pantawane will be up against Ching Chieh Tai in women’s singles, while in the men’s singles, HS Prannoy will take on Andre Kurniawan Tedjono, Anand Pawar faces Brice Leverdez, K. Srikanth meets Scott Evans, while Sourabh Verma need to get it across Dong Leun Lee.