Two years after they played one of the best badminton matches of all time in the final of the 2017 BWF World Championships, PV Sindhu and Nozomi Okuhara are set to clash once again in their quest for the gold at this prestigious tournament. And there won't be any surprise if the two orchestrate yet another classic that will keep the fans on tenterhooks until the last minute.
For Sindhu's ruthless attack vs Okuhara's stubborn defence always has a possibility of throwing up such gruelling encounters as demonstrated by the fact that 8 out of their 15 face-offs have gone the distance.
At the same time, it is interesting to note that their last five matches have finished in straight games, three of which went in Sindhu's favour with the Indian coming out on top in a rather facile win in Jakarta in July. That indicates they both haven't been at their best at the same time in those showdowns which is why they ended up being one-sided.
However, at the Basel World Championships this week, It does indeed look like they both have found their form and confidence. Sindhu has continued from where she left last month at the Indonesia Open, where she reached the final, to blaze past her opponents in style en route to her third consecutive World Championships final.
It was former World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying who gave her the stiffest resistance possible but the Indian managed to hold her nerves and dig deep to continue her hunt for her first ever gold from this tournament. Sindhu then followed it up with a near-flawless display over the reigning All England champion Chen Yufei that left the in-form Chinese shellshocked.
The 2017 champion too has found her groove after not being able to win any title on the Tour this year. Three times she has reached the summit clash on the tour only to finish as the runner-up.
Through her performances in Switzerland, the Japanese has shown that she is determined to prove herself once again. She swatted aside dangerous opponents such as He Bingjiao and Sung Ji Hyun with ease before edging former champion Ratchanok Intanon in a marathon in the semi-finals.
With both looking hungry as ever, we are in for yet another memorable finale. The one who will be able to withstand all the pressure until the very end, as showed by their enthralling final two years ago, will get to taste the gold medal.
If Sindhu indeed does manage to pass this test, she will create history as the first Indian shuttler to win gold from the World Championships.
Will that priceless opportunity to enter record books be able to motivate her today?
Here is all you need to know about the BWF World Championships 2019:
Tournament: Total BWF World Championships 2019
Category: Grade 1 - Individual tournament
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Date: 25th August, 2019
PV Sindhu match today time
(5) PV Sindhu vs (3) Nozomi Okuhara at approx 4:30pm IST
Head-to-head: Sindhu leads 8-7
Last meeting: Sindhu def Okuhara 21-14, 21-7 at the Indonesia Open 2019
Where to watch the matches in India?
The matches will be live telecast on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD from August 19.
Live Stream Details and Info for the matches:
PV Sindhu Match Live Streaming is available on hotstar.com