New Delhi: Despite her poor record in the last two India Open Super Series, badminton star Saina Nehwal still remains the favourite at the $200,000 tournament that starts Tuesday here at the Siri Fort Complex.
The London Olympics bronze medallist made a first round exit in 2011 and managed to make the second round in 2012. As Saina hogs the limelight in women’s singles, it is World No.1 Malaysian Lee Chong Wei who will be the centre of attraction and the favourite to win in men’s singles. The 2012 Olympic silver medallist won the tier two event in its inaugural year in 2011 and finished runner-up last year.
In the absence of Chinese duo Olympic champion Li Xuerui and World Champion Yihan Wang, Saina has been seeded No.1 in a relatively easy draw. However, Saina believes that the draw is full of talented youngsters and progressing won’t be easy.
The Hyderabadi opens her campaign in a tricky first-round match against World No.37 Indonesian Belaetrix Manuputi. The Indian overcame Belaetrix with ease at the All England last month in their only encounter so far.