Third seed PV Sindhu takes on sixth seed Saina Nehwal in the Women's singles quarter-final of India Open Superseries in New Delhi on Friday.
Despite being top-ranked badminton stars from India, the two shuttlers have met only once at the international level in the past and thus all eyes will be on their clash today at home.
Saina defeated Pornpawee Chochuwong in her R16 match without breaking a sweat 21-14, 21-12 and this was the 27-year-old's second win over the Thai shuttler in the new season after her success at Malaysia Masters title match. Sindhu though was made to work hard by Japan's unseeded shuttler Saena Kawakami in her third round match, which ended in favour of the Indian 21-16, 23-21.
Saina was clearly the dominant of the two shuttlers when the they met the last time at the India Grand Prix Gold event in 2014 as the former outclassed Sindhu in straight games. Three years hence, the odds are in favour of the 21-year-old as she has gone on to match the world's best after clinching a silver at last year's Rio Games.
Sindhu also won her maiden Superseries title in China last year and also came up with a solid show at the season-ending Superseries Finals in Dubai. Like Saina, who won the season-opening Malaysia Masters, she has also started 2017 with a Grand Prix Gold title at home (Syed Modi).
Also, Saina has been stressing that she is yet to reach her 100% fitness following a knee injury she suffered last season. The world number eight though started the year on a high by reaching the final of Premier Badminton League, in which she was edged out by Sindhu. She battled against odds to win Malaysia Masters and also had an impressive run to the quarter-final at All England Championships earlier this month.
While Sindhu will start as favourite, she cannot afford to relax but has to be at her best to outclass Saina, who will be looking to announce her comeback at the highest level with a win against her higher-ranked compatriot.
India: Star Sports
Malaysia: Astro Supersport
Singapore: Hub Sports 3