Indonesia Masters 2018: Preview and schedule of Saina Nehwal vs PV Sindhu quarter-final
(2) PV Sindhu (WR #3) vs Saina Nehwal (WR #12)
Head-to-head: Tied 1-1
Last BWF meeting: Sindhu defeated Nehwal 21-16, 22-20 at the 2017 India Open quarter-finals
Last meeting: Nehwal defeated Sindhu 21-17, 27-25 in the final of the 2017 Senior National Championships
A little more than two months after mesmerizing fans at the Senior National Championships in Nagpur with a spellbinding final, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu are all set to lock horns yet again. But this time the face-off of the two Pullela Gopichand protégés won’t be on Indian soil for the first time.
Saina’s endurance was getting questioned time and again last year as she lost quite a few close battles in three games. But she proved her detractors wrong when she sent the World No. 8 Chen Yufei packing in a three-game duel in the first round at the Indonesia Masters on Wednesday.
Moving brilliantly, she stopped lifting the shuttle to take the game away from the young Chinese and attacked at every instant. That clearly showed that she was feeling confident and was hungry for success.
Saina carried that form into the second round as well. Except for a late surge from Chen Xiaoxin in the dying stages of the match, the former World No. 1 was fully in control of the match as she clinched a 21-12, 21-18 win.
Meanwhile, Sindhu has hardly put a foot wrong at this tournament. Doing full justice to her second seeding, the India No. 1 won both her rounds in straight games and that too, quite convincingly.
With Sindhu wresting away the No. 1 position from Nehwal in the last one year and a half, the 22-year-old has been the bigger favourite in their matches. But Nehwal is a diligent student of the game.
In Nagpur, she turned the tables with her fabulous footwork and by consistently going for Sindhu’s relatively weaker backhand, which did start breaking down in the face of the onslaught. Saina out-rallied Sindhu and simply blunted her aggression by tiring her out with her superb mix of offense and defence.
Even when Sindhu did try to make a comeback towards the very end of the match, Saina was careful not to let her play her usual game.
The London Olympic bronze medallist has exhibited exactly that kind of clarity of thought in her Indonesia Masters campaign so far. It will be interesting to see if the World No. 3 can keep Saina away from her backhand side with her own array of attacking shots.
Satwik and Chirag seek semi-final berth
Saina and Sindhu will not be the only Indians in action at the Indonesia Masters on Friday. The India No. 1 men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be seeking a semi-final berth when they take on the fourth seeds Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark.
The young Indians had prevailed over the Danish duo in three gruelling games when the two teams crossed swords at the French Open in October. The India No. 1 pair has been on a giant-killing run at this tournament and has accounted for the World No. 10 and the World No. 17 pairs. They would very much look forward to giving their best and continue their march in this event.
Here is all the information you need to know
Tournament name: Daihatsu Indonesia Masters 2018
Category: BWF World Tour Super 500
Total prize money: $350,000
Venue: Jakarta, Indonesia
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2018
Saina Nehwal vs (2) PV Sindhu at approx 1.15pm IST
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty vs (4) Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding at approx 4.30pm IST
Live Streaming: BadVidLiv Youtube Channel
Live Updates: On Sportskeeda