The much-awaited second season of the Premier Badminton League will kick off today at Hyderabad with the marquee clash between the Hyderabad Hunters’ Carolina Marin and the Chennai Smashers’ PV Sindhu headlining the day.
The two met at the Rio Olympics final in August which sent the TRPs soaring in India. In an enthralling three-game encounter, the Spanish southpaw got the better of the Indian. But Sindhu soon got a chance to avenge that defeat when the two crossed swords in a round robin match at the Dubai World Superseries Finals last month.
The 21-year-old beat Marin in straight games in a very convincing display there. There is no doubt that excitement will be at its peak among badminton aficionados to watch the two in action once more in such a short span of time.
“Well obviously it will be a great match, but I believe the result at the end of the tie will matter the most,” the Olympic gold medallist Marin has said about the big match being billed as the clash of the titans.
“We as a team will look forward to perform together rather than resting on private laurels as our main aim is to win the title and not just shine individually,” she added.
The World No. 2 also has the in-form Sameer Verma in her team in men’s singles. The 22-year-old reached the final of the Hong Kong Open Superseries in November which was the very first time he ever made it to the summit clash of an event of such a high level.
Sindhu too can bank on the reigning Denmark Open champion Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk to lend the required support in men’s singles. Both the teams are well-equipped in doubles too. While the Hunters have the men’s doubles World No. 1 Tan Wee Kiong, the Smashers too have the star mixed doubles pair of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock.
Delhi Acers start title defence
The second match of the day will see the defending champions Delhi Acers locking horns with the Bengaluru Blasters.
Acers had the talismanic Tommy Sugiarto in the last edition, who played a big role in their title win but the Indonesian is part of the Chennai franchise this time. Nevertheless, they have the World No. 2 as well as the World No. 4 men’s singles players, Jan O Jorgensen and Son Wan Ho in their ranks, and that should be good enough reason to feel confident.
The Blasters too have the third-ranked Dane Viktor Axelsen, who sizzled through the Dubai World Superseries Finals to win his first title at the prestigious event.
The possible face-off between the two Danes will be one must-watch contest and its outcome can decide the overall result of this match.
Time: 6.30pm IST
Channel: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 3 HD