The World No. 7 had earlier tasted glory at this tournament in 2017 when she beat Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska Tunjung to claim the title. But being the top seed this time, the 26-year-old will be twice as motivated to win her first trophy since the 2019 BWF World Championships.
Sindhu had a couple of chances last year to end her title drought. However, she lost both her finals at the Swiss Open and the BWF World Tour Finals in straight games.
The new season, too, started quietly for the India No. 1 as she unexpectedly crashed out of last week's India Open in the semifinals. The two-time Olympic medalist, however, managed to quickly avenge that loss against World No. 30 Supanida Katethong with an 11-21, 21-12, 21-17 quarterfinal win this week.
In the semifinals on Saturday, the top seed had a brief workout as her opponent, Evgeniya Kosetskaya, retired due to injury with Sindhu ahead 21-11.
She will now take on her young compatriot Malvika Bansod, who is currently placed 84th in the world rankings. The 20-year-old Nagpur girl caused a stir last week when she knocked out her idol Saina Nehwal in the second round of the India Open.
Earlier on Saturday, the southpaw was in trouble against her countrywoman Anupama Upadhyay in the Syed Modi International semifinals. Bansod was two points away from defeat when she turned around the match and came storming back for a 19-21, 21-19, 21-7 win.
Having played a grueling match, Bansod's fitness and stamina will be put to the test by Sindhu, who is the heavy favorite to come through this contest.
Syed Modi International 2022: Match details
Fixture: (1) PV Sindhu vs Malvika Bansod
Head-to-head: Sindhu and Bansod have never squared off on the tour before, so the head-to-head is currently tied at 0-0.
Date: January 23, 2022
Time: Approx 4 pm IST
Tournament: Syed Modi India International 2022
Venue: Lucknow, India
Category: BWF World Tour Super 300
Syed Modi International 2022: TV schedule
The tournament is being telecast live on DD Sports channel in India.
Syed Modi International 2022: Live streaming details
The tournament can be live-streamed on the Prasar Bharati Sports Youtube channel.