New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal is upbeat about her prospects in the India Open Super Series but added that the tournament draw is tough and winning won’t be easy.
A total of 220 players from 18 nations will be aiming to win the $200,000 tier-two tournament to be held at the Siri Fort Complex April 23-28.
“Every tournament is tough. This one is a Super Series event and all the top players will be playing in it, but I am looking forward to put my best foot forward,” said World No.2.
Putting emphasis on the draw, Saina said it will be a tough ride this time and her first-round opponent Belaetrix Manuputi of Indonesia has been showing impressive form.
“The draw is quite tough, it is not easy. In the first round itself, I am playing with an Indonesian player who is doing really well. But I am preparing hard to win the tournament.”
“India Open is special because it’s held in Delhi. Lots of home fans will be there to cheer me and at the same time my parents can come and watch me. Youngsters will also get a chance to learn from the senior players,” said the Hyderabadi.
Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand said he is hopeful that the hosts will come up with an impressive show and win in at least one of the five categories at stake.
“Preparation is pretty decent and I think we had the time post-All England and Swiss Open. We have the Asian Championship coming up this week and the experience will help us in India Open,” said the former All England champion.
“I think we are getting closer each time and hopefully Saina will be able to get us that coveted thing. We also have (Parupalli) Kashyap who is doing well. I feel all the players have emerged stronger in these years not only in singles but also in doubles. Somebody will win us the India Open Super Series title.”
Gopichand added the focus will be on all players and not just on singles competition.
“There are lots of juniors who have the opportunity to play against the best players of the world and I expect them to use it as a launchpad. We also have our doubles combinations whether it is Jwala Gutta and Diju or Ashwini Ponnappa and Pradnya. I am looking forward to their performance,” added Gopichand.