Five Indians have made their way into the quarterfinals of the BWF World Championships. The Indian shuttlers will be up against familiar foes.
Saina Nehwal vs Carolina Marin
In the third round, Nehwal defeated Thailand’s Ratchanok Inthanon in straight games, but the road to semifinal will be tough as the opponent is former world number one, Marin. She has troubled the Indians in the past.
In their nine previous meetings, Saina has a slight edge over the fierce left-hander. Saina has won five of them.
Their most memorable match was the final of the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships in 2015. In three gruelling games, Saina came out triumphant — 19-21 25-23 21-16. Both the shuttlers have slumped in the rankings since their dominant run. Currently, Saina is ranked tenth and Marin is eighth.
P. V. Sindhu vs Nozomi Okuhara
Sindhu and Okuhara have been a part of high-adrenaline clashes over the past two years. Okuhara has had the better of her opponent six out of 11 times and she’ll be going into the clash more confident. Sindhu isn’t too far behind though. Only two of their clashes have ended in straight games, with most of their matches going down to the wire.
Their last meeting was in the final of Thailand Open where Okuhara beat Sindhu 21-15 21-18. In their quarterfinal match in the All England Open earlier this year, Sindhu emerged victorious 20-22 21-18 21-18.
The World Championship final, last year, is the most memorable of all the Sindhu-Okuhara clashes. In a match that lasted almost two hours, Okuhara edged out Sindhu, taking the championship 19-21 22-20 22-20.
B. Sai Praneeth vs Kento Momota
Sai Praneeth faces an old foe in Japan’s Kento Momota. The duo have met only twice — in the Indonesian Open and Indian Open in 2013. Momota had just started his international career and Praneeth was only two years into his.
Ashwini Ponnappa/Satwiksairaj Renkireddy vs Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong
The Indian pair that won a Commonwealth Games gold, will be looking to continue their top form as they come up against the Chinese pair of Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong. Zheng and Huang, the currenr world no. 1 and top seed in the tournament, are a force to be reckoned with. They won the Malaysian Open and Indonesian Masters this year.
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