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Last Updated Friday March 23 2018 02:31 PM IST

All England Championships: Saina meets world No. 1 Tai Tzu in first round

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Saina Nehwal Saina Nehwal has her task cut out against world No. 1 and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying. File photo: PTI

Birmingham: Saina Nehwal has drawn world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the first round while compatriot P V Sindhu opens her campaign against Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong in the $1000,000 All England Badminton Championships next month.

World No. 11 Saina, who reached the finals at the 2015 All England Championship and lost to the Taiwanese Tai Tzu at the Indonesia Open last month, will get a chance to avenge her loss and better her dismal head-to-head record against the defending champion.

Sindhu is expected to cross the first hurdle without much of a problem and in that case, she may get a chance to settle scores with American Beiwen Zhang Zhang in a likely second round clash. Zhang had defeated Sindhu at the India Open final.

World No. 3 Kidambi Srikanth, also seeded third, had a rampaging run last season when he won four titles and he would face Frenchman Brice Leverdez in the opening round of the BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament slated for March 14 to 18.

However, B Sai Praneeth and H S Prannoy will face tougher opponents in the opening round in men's singles.

Singapore Open champion Praneeth will square off against former world No. 1 Korean Son Wan Ho, while world No. 11 Prannoy, who is still recovering from the foot infection that saw him struggle at the India Open, will clash with eighth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, who finished runner-up twice at the India Open.

In the doubles events, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who reached the semifinals of the Indonesia Open, will face Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan. India Open semifinalists Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will take on Germany's Marvin Emil Seidel and Linda Efler in opening round.

Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will meet England's Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge, while Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki will fight it out with second-seeded Japanese combo of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi.

Rising women's doubles pair of Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha S Ram will face fifth-seeded Japanese pair of Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto.

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The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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