Saina on collision course against Sindhu in Japan

Tokyo, Aug 31 (IANS) India’s top two badminton stars — Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu — are on a collision course at the $275,000 Japan Open Superseries to be held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium from September 8 to 13.

The two are likely to meet in the second round of women’s singles in the Japanese capital if they beat their opening round opponents.

Double World Championship bronze medallist Sindhu, who is unseeded here, will open her campaign against Japan’s Minatsu Mitani. Second seed Saina, who recently reached the final of the World Championships, will take on Thai Busanan Ongbumrungpan.

If both win, they will face each other for the second time in their career after the first meeting — at the 2014 India Grand Prix Gold final — was won by World No.1 Saina in straight games.

In men’s singles, the only Indian to be seeded is Kidambi Srikanth at No.3. He will open against Scott Evans of Ireland.

Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap will take on local boy Takuma Ueda, Ajay Jayaram will face a tough test against Danish seventh seed Viktor Axelsen while H.S. Prannoy will be pitted against Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong.

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa have a difficult task ahead as they have drawn Chinese women’s doubles eighth seeds Zhao Yunlei and Zhong Qianxin. Pradnya Gadre and N. Sikki Reddy face Japanese top seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in the opener.

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