World Championships: Saina can face Yu Fei and Sindhu to play Tai in the quarterfinals
HYDERABAD: Saina Nehwal & PV Sindhu he will have to overcome his family enemies to get another medal in the BWF World Championships which will begin in Switzerland on August 19.
While Sindhu is likely to reach the quarterfinals, where he is expected to face former world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, Saina can meet the current champion of England Chen Yu Fei from China in the last eight stages.
However, Canada's Michelle Li may test Saina in the third round. If Saina gets past Yu Fei she may face newly-crowned World No.1 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the semifinals. Saina had won a silver & bronze at the Worlds & would be keen to clinch the title.
Sindhu, meanwhile, is expected to beat Tai. The Chinese Taipei shuttler, who looked invincible in the last three years, of late has been losing to several shuttlers. A wrist injury has been slowing Tai & it all depends on how she recovers from that. Sindhu had beaten her in their last meeting at the World Tour Finals in December. If Sindhu beats Tai she will face either Nozomi Okuhara, He Bingjiao or Ji Hyun Sung in the semifinals. A semifinal appearance will ensure a bronze medal at the Worlds.
The Indian girls were placed in either halves of the draw & can only meet in the finals. Worlds have been a favourite hunting ground for Sindhu as she won two bronze & two silver at this mega event. However, none of the Indians managed to win the championship so far.
Four Indians appear in the draw for single men. The best-ranked Indian, Kidambi Srikanth, who planted seventh, is expected to clear the first rounds before facing the second seed Tien Chen Chou or Sameer Verma in the quarter-final stage.
Tenth seed Sameer may have to deal with Tien Chen Chou in the third round. Chou is in great form & won the Indonesia & Thailand Open titles in the last three weeks.
From the top half of the draw Sai Praneeth & HS Prannoy qualified for the main draw. Praneeth, who begins against Jason Anthony Ho-Shue of Canada, faces a tough opponent in Don Keun Lee of Korea in the second round. Prannoy is likely to face Lin Dan of China or Tien Minh Nguyen of Hong Kong in the second round.
Exciting young Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty, who stunned world champions on Sunday, got a tough draw at the tournament. They got a bye in the first round & things get tougher for them from the second round.
But Satwik said that the draw is not so tough. "We are not too bothered about the draw. We have to play our game & take it match by match," Satwik said.
Nine Indian teams - four in men, three in women & two in mixed - have made the cut for the World Championships.
Chief coach of the Indian team Gopichand pulley He described the draw as difficult. It is a difficult draw for our players. They need to play well from the first round. At this level we cannot expect easy matches. But our players are working hard for this event, Gopichand said.