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All England Open 2020 quarter-finals: PV Sindhu vs Nozomi Okuhara | Match preview and prediction

  • Can Sindhu continue her good run in Birmingham against the steely Okuhara?
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 13 Mar 2020, 14:01 IST

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu

And just like that, PV Sindhu, as has often been the case in the past couple of years, is the only Indian player left stringing at the 2020 All England Open.

The Indian contingent got off to a horrid start at the tournament with the the withdrawal of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and the first round exits of Kidambi Srikanth, Sai Praneeth and Saina Nehwal.

The doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy and teenager Lakshya Sen also bowed out in the second round as only Sindhu managed to get over the line in a tight two game match against long-time rival Sung Ji-Hyun.

Although the scoreline suggests a straightforward win, things did get dicey for the Indian star on multiple occasions. She, however, did hold her own in the crunch time and eventually got over the line without having to play a third game.

Nozomi Okuhara
Nozomi Okuhara

It will be a similar opponent that Sindhu will face on Friday in the quarter-finals, one, who much like the Ji-Hyun, has troubled her a lot in the past, Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.

Sindhu has played Okuhara on as many as 16 occasions, having come out on top on 9. The promising aspect of Sindhu's performance has been the fact that despite the Japanese's rise in the rankings, she has found a way to beat her consistently.

In fact, Sindhu has won four of the duo's last five meetings, despite being ranked lower. It really comes down to the form that the Indian is in on her attack and the Japanese on her defence that determines the outcome of their matches.

The days when Sindhu is at her attacking best, she has breezed past Okuhara dropping no more than 12-14 odd points in the entire set. But then, there have been days that the shuttle just keeps coming back from Okuhara's end leaving Sindhu struggling to string two points together.

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Both women have struggled for consistent results in recent months and will be looking to get into the groove here in Birmingham. This one is really up in the air, but one has to feel that Sindhu will look to dictate terms and really take control of this one. That's the only way that she is going to win against a steely Okuhara.

Prediction: Sindhu to win in two games


Also see | All England Open Badminton Championships 2020: PV Sindhu through to the quarter-finals but Lakshya Sen and Ashwini Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy crash out


Published 13 Mar 2020, 14:01 IST
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