Saina on a comeback trail
It is a golden time for Indian badminton. After shuttler PV Sindhu’s exploits which helped India gain an Olympic silver and the China Open Super Series title, Saina Nehwal has also begun her comeback path in style. She overcame the Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in the first round match at the Hong Kong Super Series.
Incidentally, it was the same opponent who beat her in the China Open opener. Saina was making a return after 3 months, being out with a nagging knee injury. It was this injury that hindered her in the Rio Olympics as well and she made an early exit.
Porntip Buranaprasertsuk is currently ranked 12 in the world and posed a challenge for the Indian yet again. However, the prolific London Olympic bronze medalist was not to be denied this time. She overcame a tight match and triumphed with a score line of 12-21, 21-19, 21-17.
About the Hong Kong Super Series
This tournament is of prime importance as it guarantees a place in the Dubai Super Series Final spot. Saina, seeded 5th in this tournament will next face the winner of the match between Chiang Mei Hui and Sayaka Sato at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
Saina is placed in the lower half of the draw and could run into compatriot P V Sindhu in the quarterfinals. The tournament also features World Number 1 Carolina Marin who is placed in the upper half of the draw. Moreover, she is not expected to face any stiff resistance till the last-eight stage.
Coming to the men’s singles, Swiss open winner HS Prannoy cruised past the Chinese challenge of Qiao Bin in straight sets. He won 21-16,21-18. Moreover, good news for India continued with national champion Sameer Verma edging past Takuma Ueda 22-20,21-18.
However, the mens doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy suffered a loss. They were beaten with the Korean pair of Solgyu Choi and Ko Sung Hyun.