Second seed Sung Ji Hyun takes on defending champion Ratchanok Intanon in the Women's singles quarter-final of India Open Superseries in New Delhi on Friday.
Sung just needed 23 minutes to dispose off Bulgari's Linda Zetchiri 21-6, 21-8 in her R16 match yesterday while Intanon also came up with dominant straight games win over China's Zhang Yiman in her 37-minute third-round match.
The two shuttlers have met 13 times in the past with Sung having a 7-6 head-to-head advantage over Intanon. However, the Thailand shuttler has beaten her familiar foe in four of their five recent meetings. Last year, the two shared honours as the South Korean avenged her Thailand Masters defeat at the season-ending Dubai World Superseries Finals.
After winning multiple titles last year to retain her spot among the top-five, Sung has continued to impress in the ongoing season. She lost only one match, the Women's singles rubber in the title match, at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships and also made it to the semi-final of All England Championships, beating the likes of Saina Nehwal and Yip Pin Yu enroute. The South Korean has been among the most consistent shuttlers in the circuit in the recent past but her inability to win Supeseries tiles since late last year is an area of concern.
On the other hand, Intanon, who began with the Indian Open title and went on to win Singapore and Malaysia last year, suffered a massive dip in form post the Rio Games. However, the world number seven has opened her season on a high, reaching the title match of All England after decimating higher-ranked stars Carolina Marin and Akane Yamaguchi.
If the form Intanon displayed in Birmingham is anything to go by, then Sung will have a tough time making it past the quarter-final stage later today.
India: Star Sports
Malaysia: Astro Supersport
Singapore: Hub Sports 3