The opening day of the Fuzhou China Open Super 750 tournament witnessed a major upset as the reigning world champion PV Sindhu was shown the door in a thrilling three-game duel by World No. 42 Pai Yu Po. With Sindhu's exit, the onus now lies on the shoulders of Saina Nehwal to carry Indian hopes forward in the women's singles department.
The former World No.1, seeded eighth at this tournament, faces China's 19-year-old Cai Yan Yan for the very first time in what would be a clash between two generations. On paper and by sheer dint of class and experience, the Indian has to be the one favoured to emerge victorious in this clash. However, at the same time, the 29-year-old cannot afford to take her opponent lightly.
The youngster has had an excellent junior record with the biggest highlight being a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships in 2017. She has already made a seamless transition into the senior circuit and has been showing her immense talent as demonstrated by her bronze at the Asian Championships this year.
Nehwal has to be wary of the fact that the Chinese has come into this tournament on the back of a quarter-final finish at last week's Macau Open.
The Indian shuttle queen herself had been facing struggles ever since she came back from injury at the Thailand Open in July end. While early losses plagued her, Nehwal's confidence levels must have finally been boosted by her quarter-final appearance at the French Open last month.
It was finally where Nehwal was playing like the champion she once was and that resurgence might be a sign that the London Olympic bronze medallist is finally back to where she belonged.
Here is all you need to know about Fuzhou China Open 2019:
Tournament: Fuzhou China Open 2019
Category: BWF Super 750
Location: Fuzhou, China
Venue: Haixia Olympics Sports Center
Prize Money: US$700,000
Schedule: (8) Saina Nehwal vs Cai Yan Yan at approx 10:15 am IST on November 6, 2019
Where to watch the matches in India?
The matches will be telecast on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD.