Saina India's best bet in Paris

Paris, Oct 21 (IANS) Saina Nehwal will be India's best bet as most of her compatriots face tough draws at the $200,000 French Open Super Series which kicks off Tuesday at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.

Fourth seed Saina, along with World No.10 P.V. Sindhu, have been drawn in the second half of the women's singles. While the senior Hyderabadi has a couple of easy rounds at the beginning, Sindhu faces a tough opener.

The World Championship bronze medallist will be opening the tournament against South Korean sixth seed Sung Ji Hyun, who is in top form after reaching the Denmark Open Super Series Premier final Sunday.

If Sindhu manages to beat Ji, she will have a relatively easier second round before a likely clash against last year's runner-up Saina. In case Ji progresses, Saina will be under the gun as she lost to the sixth seed in the Denmark Open quarterfinals Friday.

In the women's doubles competitions, Jwala Gutta -- after much hullabaloo -- will finally be taking to the court with old partner Ashwini Ponnappa for the first time since the 2012 London Games.

In the opener, the duo will take on Indonesians Gebby Ristiyani Imawan and Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah. If the Indian combine manage to win then they will likely be up against Japanese third seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi.

Though Jwala and Ashwini are a successful pair, Indian badminton fans should not expect too much as they will take time to get accustomed to the courts and are out of match practice.

In the mixed doubles, India have fielded only one pair -- that of Ashwini and Tarun Kona -- who have a relatively easy opener. If they manage to win that then they will take on Chinese top seeds Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei in the second round.

In the men's singles, all three Indian shuttlers have been drawn in the same half.

Leading the pack is Parupalli Kashyap, who has been drawn to face top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the first round. The latter lost in the final of Denmark Open to China's Chen Long and will be looking to make ammends which makes the task even more difficult for the out-of-form Kashyap.

Mumbai's Ajay Jayaram faces Japan's Kazumasa Sakai in Round 1. If he wins, then the winner of the Kashyap vs Lee match will be waiting for him next.

R.M.V. Gurusaidutt also faces a tough challenge against China's Yuekun Chen. If he comes out victorious then it will be Indonesian fifth seed Tommy Sugiarto next and then Japanese third seed Kenichi Tago waiting for him.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Abu Dhabi: Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir elects to bat in the season-opener of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Bench refuses to grant access to recordings of Srini and Dhoni’s depositions before Mudgal committee. More »

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

A fractured little finger could now throw the Delhi Daredevils captain out of action at the start of this season. More »