Chinese Taipei Open 2019: Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma to spearhead Indian challenge
The Chinese Taipei Open 2019, a BWF World Tour Super 300 event, will be played between September 3 and September 8 in Taiwan, Chinese Taipei. Even though various big names have opted not to play in this tournament to prepare for the upcoming China Open Super 1000 event, Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma will look to get some much-needed match play to boost their confidence.
Nehwal has been top-seeded in women's singles whereas Verma has been seeded number three in men's singles.
Nehwal hasn't had a great season so far. At the beginning of the year, she won the Indonesia Masters 500 event after Carolina Marin had to retire in the final due to injury. But since then, she has not been able to make it past the quarter-finals of any tournament she played.
The former World No.1 will be looking forward to having a strong outing in this tournament. She will be facing Korea's rising star An Se Young in the first round. Young has defeated players like Li Xuerui and has won three tournaments this year. If Nehwal manages to overcome the opening hurdles, she is likely to play veteran Sung Ji Hyun in the semi-finals.
In men's singles, three Indian players will be trying their chances to win the coveted trophy. Seeded number three, Sameer Verma will be opening his campaign against the Malaysian Daren Liew. Verma was the player to watch in 2018, but since the beginning of 2019, not only has his ranking slipped but his results too have gone down drastically.
With the Tokyo Olympics now only less than a year away, he will be looking forward to making the most of the time left and win as many tournaments as possible. His brother Sourabh Verma will be opening his campaign against Kazumasa Sakai of Japan.
He is likely to meet top seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in the second round. On the other hand, ranked 27th in the world, HS Prannoy will be opening his title hunt against World No. 29 Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei. Prannoy leads in their head-to-head by 3-2.
In women's doubles, the Indian duo of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant will be starting their challenge against the sixth-seeded Malaysian duo of Lee Meng Yean and Chow Mei Kuan. No Indian teams will be participating in the men's doubles and mixed doubles categories.