New Delhi: Saina Nehwal, favourite to win the Indian Open Super Series beginning Thursday, has brushed aside fitness issues and said she is confident of living up to her top billing in the $200,000 event.
Saina is drawn against Japanese Ai Goto in the opening round and could meet another Japanese Eriko Hirose in the quarterfinal. Hirose beat Saina in the the All England championship in March but the Indian had her revenge in the Swiss Open, which she eventually won.
Saina, who has been troubled by an ankle injury in the last couple of months, said she is fit.
"There were some problems with my ankle. There was a little fluid but it is much better now. I had to take tablets during the All England and Swiss Open but I am fit to play here," said Saina on the sidelines of a promotional event of Rasna.
"I played very well in the Swiss Open and last time I played at Delhi, I won the Commonwealth Games gold. The stadium is lucky for me.
"The first two matches are always difficult because you take time to adjust to the conditions and the courts. Though there are no Chinese players, but the competition will be tough. Denmark's Tine Baun, who is seeded second, is also here," said World No.4 Saina.
Apart from Saina, Aditi Mutatkar will be the other Indian challenge in the first Super Series hosted by the country. The tournament will see participation from 220 players from 16 countries.
In men's singles, World No.1 Malaysian Lee Chong Wei will be in action along with veterans Taufik Hidayat, the former Olympic gold medallist from Indonesia, and Denmark's Peter Gade, former World Champion.
India's best hope will be Parupalli Kashyap, who won a bronze in the Commonwealth Games here, and would be eyeing a few upsets. He, though, is likely to run into Taufik in the second round. Arvind Bhat, Ajay Jayaram, Guru Sai Dutt and Anand Pawar are the other Indians in the main draw.
In women's doubles, India's hopes will be on Commonwealth Games doubles gold medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa.