Fuzhou (China): Newly crowned national champions Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy will look to enhance their chances of qualifying for the Dubai Super Series Finals with a good performance at the China Open Superseries Premier starting here, Tuesday.
Former World No.1 Saina upstaged Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu in the national finals last week to claim her third championship crown, while Prannoy stunned Kidambi Srikanth to clinch his maiden title at the 82nd edition of the event at Nagpur.
Interestingly, both Saina and Prannoy are ranked 11th in the Destination Dubai Ranking and are racing against time to book a berth at next month’s Super Series Final with just two Super Series events — China Open and Hong Kong Open left in the calendar.
The 27-year-old Saina, who clinched a bronze medal at the Glasgow World Championship, will open her campaign against USA’s Beiwen Zhang, while Prannoy will face a qualifier in the opening round.
Sindhu has also been in impressive form this season clinching two super series titles besides winning silver at the World Championship. She will begin her journey against Japan’s Sayaka Sato, who clinched the Indonesia Open this year.
In the qualifiers Tuesday, Satwiksairaj and Ashwini will look to make it to the main draw when they face Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-Huei and Wu Ti Jung. In men’s singles, Parupalli Kashyap will lock horns with Chinese Guo Kai in the qualifiers.
Meanwhile, Srikanth, who clinched four Superseries titles this season, will be taking a break this week to nurse a muscle strain. Among others to pull out are Sameer Verma, Ajay Jayaram and B Sai Praneeth.
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