It is the penultimate day of 2017 Singapore Open and none of the eight seeded Men's singles players are going to take court as it has been a tournament of upsets so far. With top-ranked shuttlers Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan and Jan O Jorgensen not participating in the Superseries event, Viktor Axelsen started as the top-ranked player but he was ousted as early as in the first round.
It will now be two unseeded shuttlers - Sai Praneeth of India and Lee Dong Keun of South Korea - battling against each other in the first Men's singles semi-final at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Sai earned a hard-fought victory over eighth seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in his quarter-final match yesterday. After conceding opening game 15-21, the world number 30 fought back to take the match 15-21, 21-14, 21-19. On the other hand, Lee outclassed in-form Indonesian shuttler Jonathan Christie in straight games to enter his maiden Superseries semi-final.
Sai is not knew to big occasions as he has, in the past, defeated the likes of Chong Wei and Taufiq Hidayat. Also, the 24-year-old has started the 2017 season on a high, finishing as the runner-up at the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold.
The Indian shuttler opened his campaign in Singapore beating German Open semi-finalist Emil Holst and went to decimate China's Qiao Bin in the R16 match on Thursday. After the exit of compatriot PV Sindhu yesterday, Sai and Kidambi Srikanth are the only Indian representatives remaining in Singapore and a possible all-Indian title match on Sunday will spur the former to be at his best later today.
Lee though has surprised quite a few with his run in Singapore, especially after facing early exits in India and Malaysia. However, he will be high on confidence after taming the likes of seventh seed Ng Ka Long enroute to Saturday.
With a maiden Superseries final berth at stake, both shuttlers will not want to face defeat and a lot will depend on who handles the pressure better in the big clash today.
India: Star Sports 2
Malaysia: Astro Supersport
Singapore: StarHub Sports