This time, it is the Japan Open in Tokyo where they would be meeting two rounds earlier, in the quarter-finals -- very much a de facto final at this Super 750 tournament.
It will not be foolish to say that the World No. 2 Yamaguchi has the advantage in this clash even though she trails Sindhu 5-10 in their head-to-head meetings. After four consecutive losses, she managed to finally beat the lanky Indian, in straight games.
That, in itself, is a huge confidence-booster and the kind of ultra-aggressive game that she played to dismantle Sindhu last week should encourage her to repeat that here. Besides, with the tournament being contested in Japan, Yamaguchi is sure to receive all the home support as well.
It is thus a stiff challenge for Sindhu as much as it is a test of her grit, determination, and stamina. Indian fans will be eager to see if Sindhu can learn from the mistakes she committed in last week's final and redeem herself here.
The Indian let the diminutive Japanese own the forecourt battles as she rushed to the net time and again to put blow after blow on Sindhu with her barrage of body smashes. Whatever few chances the World No. 5 managed to eke out, she squandered them through unforced errors.
It's not that Sindhu does not know how to solve the Japanese puzzle. Her head-to-head record vouches for that. However, to be able to apply her game and blunt Yamaguchi's attacks, the fifth seed needs to be fresh, alert and on her toes.
Her struggles against World No. 20 Aya Ohori in the second round on Thursday did not paint a rosy picture of Sindhu's sharpness on the court. Having said that, she did surprise everyone by resurrecting herself after some tentative initial displays in Jakarta and she will be eager to avenge that stinging defeat from five days ago.
Here is all you need to know about the Japan Open:
Tournament: Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open 2019
Category: Super 750
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Head-to-head: Sindhu leads Yamaguchi 10-5
Schedule: (5) PV Sindhu vs (4) Akane Yamaguchi at approx 9:30 am IST on Friday, July 26, 2019
Where to watch the matches in India?
The Japan Open matches will be telecast live on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD from July 25.
Live Stream Details and Info for the matches:
Live Stream for the matches is available on hotstar.com.Published 26 Jul 2019, 01:15 IST