New Delhi:Indian shuttlers were handed a favourable draw in the World Badminton Championship with world number six Saina Nehwal getting a first-round bye at the event to be held in Hyderabad from August 10-16.
Sixth seed Saina would play her first match in the tournament against the winner of the match between Polish Olga Konon and Russian Anastasia Prokopenko in the second round.
The 20-year-old Hyderabadi is likely to meet 10th seed Petya Nedelcheva in the pre-quarterfinals and if she can get past her, Saina might face off against second seed Lin Wang of China, whom the Indian had beaten in the finals of the Indonesian Super Series in June.
"It is good draw for Saina and she should take one step at a time. Saina is ranked sixth at the moment so for the first time we have a seeded player, she doesn't need to play the top seeded players till the round of 16. So I think she should target the semifinals," said National coach Pullela Gopichand after the unveiling of the draw.
In men's singles too, Indians have a decent draw with World number 15th Chetan Anand opening his campaign against Ji Hoon Hong of Korea, while Arvind Bhat crossing swords with ninth seed Yu Hsing Hsieh of Chinese Taipei. Wild card entry P Kashyap
faces Irish Ali Shahhosseini in the first round.
"The men have also got a good a good draw. Chetan and Arvind have a decent draw but P Kashyap has a tough one first up. Overall it's a good draw but there would be pressure," Gopichand said.
Among others in women's singles, Aditi Mutatkar will have a tough time against 11th seed Juliane Schenk of Germany, while wild card entrant Sayale Gokhale will lock horns with Jie Yao of Netherlands in the first round.
The Indian mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju got a bye in the first round and might open their campaign against English duo of Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork.
Another young Indian pair of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan will face Japanese combo Noriyasu Hirata and Shizuka Matsuo in the first round of mixed doubles.
In men's doubles, Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas will meet the 14th seeded pair of Japanese Kenichi Hayakawa and Kenta Kazuno, while youngsters Akshay Dewalkar and Jishnu Sanyal will clash with Thai Patipat Chalardchaleam and Nuttaphon Narkthong.
Another Indian duo of Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu will face an uphill task of taming 13th seeded pair of Hung Ling Chen and Yu Lang Lin of Chinese Taipei.
The new women's doubles pair of Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurian, who got a bye in the first round, too have a difficult job at hand as they face the second seeded Chinese pair of Shu Cheng and Yunlei Zhao in the second round.
The draw was unveiled by Union Sport Minister MS Gill and the ceremony was attended by Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi, Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell and All England champion Prakash Padukone among others.