Ratchanok Intanon
Top seed Intanon eyes semi-final berth in Thailand Reuters

Top seed Ratchanok Intanon takes on fifth seed Nitchaon Jindapol in the Women's singles quarter-final of 2017 Thailand Open in Bangkok on Friday.

Intanon, the 2015 champion, was pushed to the limits by world number 57 Japanese player Sayaka Takahashi in the second round yesterday. The local shuttler was beaten in the first game 24-22, but she fought her way back to win the match 22-24, 21-10, 21-18 in an hour an eight minutes.

On the other hand, Jindapol decimated lower-ranked Indonesian shuttler Sri Fatmawati 21-18, 21-19 in just 40 minutes on Thursday.

Intanon, the tournament favourite, has had two close encounters, with the second one being a draining affair so far in Bangkok. The world number eight had come into the tournament on the back of a solid Sudirman Cup campaign, in which she played a key role in helping Thailand beat second seeds Denmark in the quarter-final.

However, Intanon has been suffering a title drought ever since she won last year's Singapore open, which was her third Superseries title on the trot after wins in India and Malaysia. The former champion though would want to make use of the opportunity in the ongoing tournament at home to end his winless run.

She is unlikely to be troubled enroute to the final, in which she is likely to take on 2012 champion Saina Nehwal. Jindapol thus has to be at her best to even stand of chance of troubling her higher-ranked compatriot today. Notably, the two shuttlers have met four times in the past, with Intanon winning three of them, including last year's clash at Thailand Masters.