Saina Nehwal will take on South Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju in her first match since winning the Olympic bronze at the Denmark Open in Odense on October 17. Saina has been seeded third.
The tournament starts on October 16 with the finals scheduled on October 21. This will be Saina’s comeback tournament after winning the bronze medal against Chinese Wang Xin on August 4.
Saina has a better record against Ju, winning four of their six meetings. However, in their last meeting, the world No 12 Korean had defeated the Indian at the Indian Open in New Delhi in April.
Chief national coach P Gopichand told DNA from Hyderabad on Tuesday that Saina is working hard for her first tournament since the Olympics. “Saina’s training is on track and she is doing well to return to the competition after a two-month break,” Gopichand said.
Following the Denmark Open, Saina will participate in the French Open in Paris from October 23 to 28.
Saina is the only Indian in the women’s singles. The other Indians are Arvind Bhat and Anand Pawar, both in the men’s singles qualifying round; Ajay Jayaram and Sourabh Varma, both in the men’s singles main draw; Kona Tarun and Arun Vishnu in men’s doubles, and Tarun and Ashwini Ponnappa in mixed doubles.
Jayaram will take on seventh seed Du Pengyu of China in the first round and Varma will meet sixth seed Peter Hoeg Gade of the host nation.
Missing the tournament is Olympic quarterfinalist Parupalli Kashyap. Gopichand said: “Kashyap has played three back-to-back tournaments after the Olympics. There is nothing much from now till January. So, the other Indians will be training.”