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All England: Saina seeks first win over Hongyan

Pi Hongyan has a 5-0 record over Saina Nehwal

Indian heartthrob Saina Nehwal will seek to reduce an unlikely deficit as she takes on French veteran Pi Hongyan in the second round of the All England on Thursday. Nehwal, ranked No.4, has never beaten Hongyan in five meetings.

Considering their last match was at the All England first round three years ago, which Hongyan won easily, Saina will have added impetus to get past the Frenchwoman.

Hongyan of course has hardly been in form in recent years. From her top-five ranking, she has plummeted to No.23. On the wrong side of 30, Hongyan is in the evening of her career and hardly at her peak.

However, she is still good enough for the top level, as she demonstrated at the Swedish International in January, which she won beating several promising European players.

Hongyan has been able to trouble Saina in the past with her relentless retrieving abilities, which has frustrated the attacking Indian. However, Thursday might be different, for Hongyan isn’t at her peak and Saina will be fancied to win.

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