Japan Open 2018: Will there be a PV Sindhu vs Saina Nehwal Quarterfinal?
After the 2018 Asian Games, the badminton fans of India will now shift their focus to the next big event of the year -- the 2018 Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open, which is scheduled to begin from 11th September 2018.
In this year's Japan Open, all the big stars of the game will be participating. Defending champion, Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, is seeded number 1 in the men's singles draw. In the women's singles draw, newly crowned Asian Games champion and world number 1 Tai Tzu Ying is the number 1 seed. World champion Carolina Marin, who will try and defend her title here, is seeded 6th.
Indians Hopes in the Tournament
All the top Indian players will also be there in Japan. After their historic twin medals in the recently-concluded Asian Games, Indian badminton fans can definitely expect the shuttlers to do well in the upcoming Japan Open also.
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will again be the top bets for India. Both of them are in very good form going into the tournament. If they can replicate their Asian Games performance in Japan, then both of them will have a very good chance of winning the tournament.
However in the women's singles event, it is very tough to choose a favourite. It is a very even field, with more than half a dozen players having the capability of winning the tournament.
The Women's Singles Draw: A Potential Saina vs Sindhu Quarterfinal
The draw of this mega event has already been announced. Both the Indian stars, Sindhu and Saina are in the same half of the draw. If they can win their first two rounds, then a potential Sindhu vs Saina quarterfinal is on the cards.
PV Sindhu, who is seeded number 3 in the tournament, will begin her campaign against the unseeded Japanese, Sayaka Takahashi. Based on her current form, Sindhu should win the match.
But Takahashi can be a tricky opponent at times. If Sindhu comes through, then in the next round, she has to face either Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand or the talented young Chinese shuttler, Gao Fangjie.
Both of them can be very dangerous on their day. But if Sindhu plays according to her potential, then she should come out as the winner and reach the quarterfinals.
Saina Nehwal, on the other hand, is unseeded in the tournament. As a result, her very first opponent, is the 7th seed, He Bingjiao of China. In order to beat Bingjiao, Saina has to play her very best badminton.
If she goes past Bingjiao, then in the next round, Saina is most likely to face the highly talented Japanese youngster, Aya Ohori. Although Saina's road to the quarters is very tough, she can definitely reach there, if she plays well.
Favourite in the potential Saina-Sindhu clash
If the Indian girls do have a face-off in the quarters, then it will be a treat for all the badminton lovers. Sindhu is presently the higher-ranked of the two, and is at the peak of her career. However, Saina has a better head-to-head record against her Indian counterpart. In their most recent face-off, in the Commonwealth Games final, Saina came out as the winner.
It is very difficult to predict a winner in a Saina vs Sindhu clash, but one can be rest assured, that it will not be a one-sided affair. Both the players will throw at each other, whatever they have, in order to come out victorious.
All the Indian badminton fans will hope to see this mouthwatering clash, between the golden girls of Indian badminton, in the coming week.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 17:38 IST