Defending champion and World No 2 Saina Nehwal has been seeded first at the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold to be played in Basel from March 12-17. Fellow Hyderabadi P Kashyap has been seeded fifth in the men’s singles category.
Nehwal is busy preparing for the All England Championships in Birmingham (March 5-10) in which she is seeded second, and the Swiss Open.
Given that world No 1 Li Xuerui, of China has chosen to skip the Swiss Open, Nehwal has been given top billing. While Germany’s Juliane Schenk is seeded second, the highest-ranked Chinese in the draw of 32 is Wang Shixian, at fourth.
London Olympics bronze medallist Nehwal will meet Frenchwoman Sashina Vignes Waran, ranked 43rd, in the first round. It will be only their second meeting. Nehwal had defeated Sashina in straight games in the first round of the same tournament two years ago. The 22-year-old Nehwal has done particularly well at the Swiss Open, winning the crown in 2011 and 2012.
Nehwal had told DNA recently of her desire to take part in many tournaments, not just the ‘Super Series’ and ‘Super Series Premier’ ones. “I will play all tournaments if I am 100 per cent fit. I like (to play) the game when I am fully fit,” she had said.
Fellow Hyderabadi shuttler PV Sindhu will also participate in the Swiss Open. The world No 16 will meet third-seeded Korean Sung Ji Hyun in the first round.
Kashyap, ranked 11th in the world, has been seeded fifth in the 64-player draw. He will lock horns with Hsueh Hsuan Yi of Chinese Taipei in the first round.
Indians for Swiss Open
Men’s Singles: Sourabh Varma, B Sai Praneeth, P Kashyap (No 5 seed), K Srikanth, HS Prannoy
Men’s Doubles: Pranaav Jerry/Akshay Dewalkar (Qualifying: Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy)
Women’s Singles: Saina Nehwal (No 1 seed), PV Sindhu (Qualifying: Tanvi Lad, PC Thulasi, Arundhati Pantawane)