Fifth seed Shi Yuqi takes on unseeded Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth in the quarter-final of 2017 Singapore Superseries at Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday.
The world number eight defeated Srikanth's compatriot Ajay Jayaram in the opening round and went on to decimate Spain's Pablo Abian 21-10, 21-16 in just 33 minutes yesterday to book his place in the last-eight round.
Srikanth, on the other hand, saved three match points against Indonesia's Moulana Mustofa to take the hard-fought second-round tie 18-21, 21-19, 22-20 in an hour and 21 minutes.
Srikanth, the former China Open champion, opened the season on comeback from injury with a runner-up finish at the Syed Mod Grand Prix Gold tournament and also reached the pre-quarterfinal in Germany earlier this year. However, at Superseries tournaments, his performance has not been upto the mark as he exited All England Championships in the first round, followed by another early exit in India Open at home.
Srikanth cannot afford to give easy chances to Shi if he is to progress to semi-final as the latter has been in fine form in the recent past. The 21-year-old, who won the French Superseries title last year, came close to winning the All England Championships last month after beating Lin in the semi-final but the world number eight lost to Lee Chong Wei in the title match.
Shi will be motivated to give his best after an early exit in Malaysia last week. With the absence of top-ranked stars, including Chong Wei and Lin, the youngster from China is among the favourites to win the title in the ongoing tournament and he will be at his best to move a step closer to the top step of the podium when he takes on Srikanth later today.
India: Star Sports 2
Malaysia: Astro Supersport
Singapore: StarHub Sports