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Saina looks for winning start to 2012

Saina looks for winning start to 2012

Saina reached four finals last year but could manage just one title - the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold.

New Delhi: India ace shuttler Saina Nehwal will look to start the new year on a resounding note when she begins her campaign at the Korea Super Series, which commences with the qualifiers on Monday in Seoul.

Saina reached four finals last year but could manage just one title - the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold.

The Hyderabad girl, who finished runner-up at the season-ending Hong Kong Open, will start 2012 up against Susan Egelstaff of Scotland.

She is expected to reach at least the quarterfinals. But for that she has to dispose of deadly Japanese duo Sayaka Sato and Ai Goto. In the last-8, the challenge grows much bigger as world number one and top seed Yihan Wang is likely to cross her path.

China's Yihan had the better of the Indian in the Hong Kong Super Super Series.

Meanwhile, in the men's singles, Ajay Jayaram will start afresh after stunning a few world class players last year.

The Chennai-born shuttler, who reached the quarterfinals in his maiden World Championship last year, will take on Korean Wan Ho Shon in his tournament opener on Wednesday.

In the qualifiers, Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold runner-up Sourabh Verma of Madhya Pradesh will be up against Daren Liew of Malaysia.

Anand Pawar will take on Singapore's Zi Liang Derek Wong, while RMV Gurusaidutt will lock horns with Jen Hao Hsu of Chinese Taipei on Tuesday.

In the women's doubles competition, world number 14 Indian pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will face Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon of Malaysia in the first round of the main draw.

Jwala will also combine with V Diju to take on Malaysia's Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh in the opening round.

In men's doubles, veterans Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas will be up against second seeds Jae Sung Jung and Yong Dae Lee of Korea.

first published:January 02, 2012, 18:19 IST