Competition: BWF Metlife Yonex Sunrise India Open Superseries 2017
Venue: Siri Fort Indoor Stadium, New Delhi
Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017
Time: (6) Saina Nehwal vs Pornpawee Chochuwong at 7pm
(3) PV Sindhu vs Saena Kawakami at 7.45pm
Channel: Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4
Live streaming: Star Sports Hotstar
(6) Saina Nehwal (Rank: 8) vs Pornpawee Chochuwong (Rank: 38)
Head-to-head: Nehwal leads 1-0
Pornpawee Chochuwong is one player Saina Nehwal has played very recently. The teenager is endowed with a game that is good enough to trouble the best in the business and she gave ample evidence of it during the Malaysia Masters final against the Indian in January.
The Junior World Championships runner-up refused to be intimidated by the former World No. 1’s presence on the opposite side of the net and was involved in a neck and neck competition with the superstar, ultimately losing 20-22, 20-22.
That was also the time when Saina was still recovering from her knee surgery. Her fitness and movement have definitely improved since then and the Indian will hope not to repeat the same mistakes she did during that final.
(3) PV Sindhu (Rank: 5) vs Saena Kawakami (Rank: 61)
Head-to-head: First meeting
19-year-old Saena Kawakami is one of the rising teenagers from the Japanese powerhouse of badminton. She proved it by reaching the finals of the US Open and the Chinese Taipei Masters last year.
The World No. 61 did get her 2017 India Open campaign off to a bright start by just dropping a total of 22 points in two games against India’s Rasika Raje in the first round. But PV Sindhu will be a different challenge altogether.
The Rio Olympic silver medallist did face some stiff resistance from her compatriot Arundhati Pantawane in the first game of her opening match. After eking out that tough first game, she simply raced to the finish line for a 21-17, 21-6 victory. And that is ominous for all of her opponents.
Schedule for the rest of the Indian contingent
Men’s singles: B Sai Praneeth vs (7) Chou Tien Chen at 4.55pm
Sameer Verma vs Hu Yun at 5.30pm
Sourabh Verma vs (6) NG Ka Long Angus at 5.40pm
Srikanth Kidambi vs (3) Viktor Axelsen at 6.25pm
Women’s singles: Rituparna Das vs (1) Carolina Marin at 7.55pm
Women’s doubles: Shruti Mundada/Anoushka Parikh vs (3) Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao at 1.55pm
Ashwini Ponnappa/N Sikki Reddy vs (4) Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai at 7.10pm
Mixed doubles: (7) Pranaav Jerry Chopra/N Sikki Reddy vs Evgenij Dremin/Evgenia Dimova at 2.40pm
(All timings in Indian Standard Time)