Saina Nehwal, Sameer Verma look to put behind All England Championship woes

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Saina Nehwal, Sameer Verma look to put behind All England Championship woes

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SportsCafe Desk


Ace Indian shuttlers, Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma, are looking to focus on getting their morale up after recent All England heartbreak. Former world number one, Nehwal was knocked out in the quarters while compatriot Verma bowed out of the competition at the end of the first round itself.

The All England Open title has been the one tournament that has evaded Indian shuttlers ever since national coach Pullela Gopichand last won it back in 2001. And he has remained only the second Indian to win the coveted title after Prakash Padukone. The trend continued this year as well, after Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma both suffered disheartening defeats at different stages of the competition.

Nehwal was knocked out in the quarters after losing to Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying, while Verma bowed out of the tournament after losing to former world number one - Viktor Axelsen. 

However, Saina would be looking to put behind her disappointment in England as she is gearing up for her fourth outing this season at the Swiss Open, starting with the qualifiers in Basel on Tuesday. Nehwal has already won the Indonesia Masters after which she lost in the semifinals and quarterfinals at the Malaysia Masters and All England Championship respectively.

Saina, who is seeded third in Switzerland, would be expecting to face second-seeded He Bingjiao of China in the semifinals if the results of the previous rounds go in her favour.

Similarly, her males singles’ compatriot, Sameer Verma, would be looking to the same as he prepares for the competition in Europe. World number 14 Sameer will be opening his campaign in the USD 150,000 event in a qualifier. He might face fellow Indian B Sai Praneeth in the second round and a win could likely see him face Axelsen.

Earlier, Verma had defeated newly-crowned All England Champion Kento Momota in the quarterfinals, just before the Japanese went on to become the world number one and was later crowned world champion in the last year.

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