Eighth seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk takes on unseeded Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth in the Men's singles quarter-final of 2017 Singapore Open at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday.
The world number 11 outclassed China's Hu Yun 21-17. 23-21 in his second-round outing yesterday in 46 minutes to earn his place in the last-eight round. Sai, on the other hand, battled an hour and 12 minutes against higher-ranked Qiao Bin from China and ended up on the winning side with a scoreline of 21-15, 21-23, 21-16.
Tanongsak will start as favourite to progress to the semi-final of the ongoing tournament, given his consistency in major competitions in the recent past. However, the 26-year-old will be better served if he does not underestimate Sai, who has started the new season on an impressive note.
Sai has not won a Superseries title unlike his opponent but has gunned down big names in the past, including Lee Chong Wei and Taufiq Hidayat. The 24-year-old Indian shuttler has been let down by his inconsistency at the highest level. However, the 2016 Canada Open winner has started the season with a runner-up finish at Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold and has showed grit and determination in Singapore so far.
However, Sai has to battle fatigue, especially after featuring in two marathon battles over the first two rounds. On the other hand, Tanongsak, in the absence of top-ranked shuttlers, will be looking to go the distance in SIngapore and thus he will be a tough nut to crack today.
India: Star Sports 2
Malaysia: Astro Supersport
Singapore: StarHub Sports