Saina Nehwal seeded eighth at India Open

New Delhi, March 18: World No.8 shuttler Saina Nehwal is the only Indian to have been seeded at the $250,000 India Open Super Series to be held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here April 1-6.

Saina has been seeded eighth in the draw that was made Tuesday. She faces an easy opener against Austrian Simone Prutsch in the first round of India’s premier badminton tournament.

World No.1 and reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China is the top seed while defending champion and world No.4 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand has been seeded fourth.

Saina’s compatriot world No.9 P.V. Sindhu will take on second seed and World No.2 Shixian Wang of China in the opener. But the 18-year-old Hyderabadi can take confidence from the fact that she has a 3-0 win-record over the Chinese and defeated her last week too at the Swiss Open quarterfinals.

The other Indians in the women’s singles main draw are Tanvi Lad, former national champion Trupti Murgunde, P.C. Thulasi, Saili Rane and Arundhati Pantawane.

In men’s singles draw, defending champion and World No.1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia will be the main attraction as the top seed.

The Indians in the main men’s draw are Parupalli Kashyap, Sourabh Varma, R.M.V. Gurusaidutt, B. Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth, Anand Pawar and H.S. Prannoy.

There have been two direct qualifications for the men’s doubles main draw and three in women’s doubles.

Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar and Manu Attri/B. Sumeeth Reddy will participate in men’s competition while Prajakta Sawant/Arathi Sara Sunil, Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa and Pradnya Gadre/N. Siki Reddy are in women’s doubles.

Abhijeet Naimpally/Trupti Murgunde, Gaurav Venkat/Juhi Dewangan, Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Maneesha K., Tarun Kona/Ashwini Ponnappa, Akshay Dewalkar/Pradnya Gadre, Abhishek Ahlawat/Kristi Das and Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan are the Indians pairings for the mixed doubles competitions.