Fifth seed PV Sindhu takes on unseeded Nozomi Okuhara in the Women's singles opening round of 2017 Singapore Open at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.
In a star-studded Women's singles field that also has world number one Tai Tzu Ying and reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin, Sindhu is among the favourites to win the title. However, she faces a stiff test against Okuhara, who is getting back to form after a disappointing run last year, in which she struggled after winning the All England Championships.
Sindhu though will look to get back to winning ways after suffering a first-round loss at last week's Malaysia Superseries Premier. The world number two, shortly after winning her first Superseries title at home - India Open - last month suffered a shock defeat to China's Chen Yufei even after winning the first game.
It will be important for the Indian shuttler to go the distance in Singapore if she has to retain her number two spot as third-ranked Marin is keeping the pressure on her with runs to final in India and Malaysia.
The 21-year-old trails Okuhara in head-to-head meeting - 3-2 in favour of the Japanese shuttler- but their last meeting, at Rio Olympics Women's singles semi-final, went the Indian shuttler's way. Sindhu decimated the world number 10 to set up the gold medal match with Marin, which she eventually lost.
Sindhu, as usual, will look to take the game to her opponent from the word go but Okuhara will be confident enough to tackle it after having made an impressive run to the semi-final last week in Malaysia, edging past the likes of Akane Yamaguchi and Cheung Ngan Yi enroute.
A win against the world number two will also give the Japanese shuttler the much-needed confidence to dominate on her comeback run.