One year after winning the title, Saina Nehwal returns to the Indonesia Masters to attempt to successfully defend her crown. The final last year was something no badminton fan would forget. Olympic champion Carolina Marin suffered a serious injury to her knee and had to quit the match in tears, conceding the final to the Indian.
While that was most unfortunate, this time the 29-year-old would like to win the title on her own terms. Given the form and confidence she displayed at the Malaysia Masters last week, it won't be a surprise to see her reign supreme again.
Giving major glimpses of the Saina of yore, the London Olympic bronze medallist knocked out the World No. 9 An Se Young in one of her best performances in recent times. The young Korean had been a sensation last year and even defeated the veteran Indian ace, which made Nehwal's win even sweeter.
If anything, that match quelled all the doubts that fans had about her and showed she is once again ready for the rigours of the BWF World Tour. With 2020 being an Olympic year, every top shuttler would leave no stone unturned in their preparation and Saina is surely one of them.
At this week's Super 500 tournament, the 11th ranked Nehwal faces the World No. 14, Sayaka Takahashi of Japan, in the first round. An interesting thing to note about their rivalry is that the former World No. 1 won their first four matches, stamping her authority over the Japanese. But ever since Nehwal started struggling with multiple injuries and lack of consistency, Takahashi has had the upper hand as evidenced by her last two victories. In fact, in their last face-off at the 2019 Denmark Open in October, Nehwal could not even take a game.
However, this time things look different. Nehwal's run to the quarter-finals in Kuala Lumpur raises hope of a good show this week and she looks all set to stop Takahashi's winning streak.
Here is all you need to know about Indonesia Masters 2020 Schedule:
Tournament: Daihatsu Indonesia Masters 2020
Category: Super 500
Prize Money: US$400,000
Venue: Istora Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta, Indonesia
Dates: January 14-19, 2020
Match Schedule: Saina Nehwal vs Sayaka Takahashi at approx 2:15 pm IST on January 15, 2020
Where to watch the matches in India?
The Indonesia Masters matches will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD from the quarterfinal stages.
Indonesia Masters live stream details
Live Stream will be available on Hotstar.com from quarterfinal stages.
Follow Sportskeeda to get Indonesia Masters Schedule, Indonesia Masters Results, Indonesia Masters Scores, and much more.Published 15 Jan 2020, 10:40 IST