Paris, Oct 20 :
Olympic bronze medal winning shuttler Saina Nehwal will once again lead the Indian challenge in the $275,000 French Open Super Series, starting here Tuesday at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
Fifth seed Saina, finalist here in 2012, will take on hosts’ challenger Sashina Vignes Waran in the first round while two-time World Championship bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu faces a tough opener against Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk Wednesday.
Given both the Hyderabadi shuttlers progress to the last-four stage, they could meet each other in the semi-finals.
In women’s doubles action, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will meet the Dutch team of Eefje Muskens and Selena Peik to start their campaign.
Recently crowned Commonwealth Games men’s singles champion Parupalli Kashyap will have an arduous task to go past Japan’s World No.4 Kenichi Tago while Kidambi Srikanth will have a rather easy outing as he will face a qualifier.
Other Indians in the fray R.M.V. Gurusaidutt and H.S. Prannoy, who last month won the Indonesian Masters Grand Prix Gold, also face uphill task to cross the first round hurdle as they will face World No.8 Hu Yun and World No.16 Kento Momota, respectively.
Doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy, who have been on the upward move in the rankings lately, will face Chinese combine Liu Xialong and Qiu Zihan while Pranaav Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar will take on Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen of China.
In mixed doubles category, the Indo-Russian pair of Ashwini and Vladimir Ivanov will play the qualifying round Tuesday against French team of Vincent Espen and Manon Krieger.