It was heartening to see PV Sindhu showing glimpses of her old aggression as she took down the feisty World No. 2 Nozomi Okuhara to reach the semi-finals of the ongoing Indonesia Open in Jakarta on Friday.
The former world champion made it a difficult first game, but failed to put up any resistance against an absolutely determined Sindhu in the second, going down 14-21, 7-21 in 44 minutes.
That scoreline and especially her sterling performance in the second game will restore Sindhu's confidence in herself. Okuhara had completely outplayed the Rio Olympic silver medallist at the Singapore Open in April and this masterclass from Sindhu was badly needed after a string of lacklustre displays of late.
It couldn't have come at a better time for the fifth seed, for she now faces one of the most in-form players of the tour -- Chen Yu Fei. The Chinese, seeded second at this tournament and ranked third worldwide, has already won three titles this year, one of which is the prestigious All England Open.
Through her sheer tenacity and never-say-die attitude, Chen Yu Fei has already established herself as the biggest talent from China's young generation.
Even though the youngster has a losing 3-4 head-to-head record against Sindhu, it is important to note that she won their last encounter at the China Open in September. Since that clash, the Chinese has become an even better player, considering her achievements this year.
In contrast, Sindhu hasn't been able to back up her big title win at the BWF World Tour Finals and has struggled for most of the season this year.
Momentum-wise, Chen Yu Fei should be the favourite but Sindhu did impress yesterday in her defeat of Okuhara. Whether she can use the confidence gained from that match against Chen to keep her run going, remains to be seen.
Here is all you need to know about the Indonesia Open:
Tournament name: Blibli Indonesia Open 2019
Category: Super 1000
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Schedule of the match: (5) PV Sindhu vs (2) Chen Yu Fei at approximately 3:30-4pm IST on Saturday, July 20, 2019
Head-to-head: Sindhu leads 4-3
Where to watch the matches in India?
The Indonesia Open matches will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD from July 17.
Live Stream Details and Info for the matches:
Live Stream for the matches is available on hotstar.com.