Star shuttler Saina Nehwal has been top-seeded for the Yonex French Open Badminton Super Series tournament in the absence of the top-three ranked Chinese players – Wang Yihan, Li Xuerui and Wang Xin starting at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris on October 23.
While Saina is the only Indian entrant in the women’s singles, the other Indians in the fray are Ajay Jayaram and SourabhVarma, both in the men’s singles main draw while Arvind Bhat and Anand Pawar will go through the qualification rounds. While Varma will open his campaign against Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Jayaram will open with the fourth qualifier, which could be compatriot Pawar.
The world number five skipped the China Masters, Japan Open and the Senior National Championship, last month, will be back in competition at the Denmark Super Series beginning on October 16 and will go on to play her second back-to-back tournament in Paris since her bronze medal win at the London Olympics.
“Feeling good, been training hard for the last five weeks,” said Saina, who is leaving for Denmark on Saturday.
“I am feeling fresh and I am feeling good. So, hopefully, these two tournaments should be good for me,” she added.
Saina said she plans to set up a badminton academy as there is a lot of interest in the garden city.
The world No. 4 shuttler said she is in discussion with real estate firm Commune India and sports company Target Games Facilities for such a venture.