18-year-old world no.9 shuttler Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is all set to take on former world no.1 Shixian Wang of China in her opening match of the India Open Super Series on 6 April, to be held at Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi.
Though Saina Nehwal is the only seeded player from India in the tournament, Sindhu is positive about her chances. She believes she can get past Wang, like she did a week ago in the Swiss Open quarterfinals.
"It will be a good match again," Sindhu told reporters ahead of the $250,000 tournament. "I kept pacing Shixian at the Swiss Open and I believe I can beat her again. Defeating her last week in Basel gives me a lot of confidence going into the India Open.
"The Chinese strategy is to keep the bird in play for long rallies and I am game for it. I am ready playing the Chinese at their own game and it worked for me against Shixian and that gives me confidence to take her on."
Sindhu, bronze medallist at the 2013 World Championships, will not return to Malaysia this year to defend her title because of a tight schedule ahead.
"I would have loved to play in Malaysia but there are so many other tournaments lined up," Sindhu said. "We have the India Open followed by the Singapore Open, then the Badminton Asia Championships and the Thomas and Uber Cups. So it is pretty crammed."
The Hyderabadi has found a new mantra to answer all the stress that comes with a crammed calendar - Yoga. "I have had a few yoga sessions and they have really helped me both mentally and physically," the Arjuna awardee added. "On court too, I am more patient and calm."
Meanwhile, India's no.1 shuttler Nehwal, seeded eighth in the tournament, will start her campaign against Austrian Simone Prutsch. The other women's singles participants from the country are Tanvi Lad, Trupti Murgunde, PC Thulasi, Saili Rane and Arundhati Pantawane.
The men's singles event will also see healthy participation from the Indian lot, in the form of Parupalli Kashyap, Sourabh Varma, RMV Gurusaidutt, B Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth, Anand Pawar and HS Prannoy.
India's doubles stars Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa will look to make a comeback, after a dismal show this year so far.