All England Badminton: Saina Nehwal Faces Tai Tzu Ying, PV Sindhu Gets Easy OpenerFebruary 23, 2018
The Indian contingent has got a mixed draw for the 108th edition of the All England Championships, which begins on March 14 in Birmingham. In the women’s singles event, while Saina Nehwal will start the tournament against her nemesis Tai Tzu Ying on Chinese Taipei in the first round, PV Sindhu will take on Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong. In the men’s singles event, World No 3 Kidambi Srikanth, seeded third, will start his campaign against Brice Leverdez of France. However, B Sai Praneeth and HS Prannoy will face former World No 1 Son Wan Ho of South Korea and eighth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei respectively.
In the doubles event, the pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will square off against Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan. Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will meet Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge of England and the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki will fight it out against Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan.
In the mixed doubles event, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will go head-to-head with Marvin Emil Seidel and Linda Efler of Germany.
Women’s doubles pair of Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha S Ram will face fifth seeded Japanese pair of Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto.
Following the draw, chief coach Pullela Gopichand said, “It is a challenging draw for us. But I am expecting very good results this time.”
Sindhu, who is in a really good form, said that it is really important for her to start performing from the word go.
“The All England is one the most prestigious tournaments and oldest tournaments of the badminton calendar, making it one of the most special tournaments for any player,” the official website of All England Badminton quoted her as saying.
“I would be extremely happy to do well at the All England, but in the build-up I’ve just been thinking about training hard and being fit for the championship. My season has been good so far – I had a great start at the Indian Open. So I would like to continue the momentum, stay fit and injury free,” Sindhu further added.
“It is a good draw. But I am playing All England after a long time and I have to be focused from the first round,” Srikanth said.