Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal is set to face Sayaka Takahashi in the third round of the Badminton World Championships.Reuters

Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal and last year's bronze medallist PV Sindhu are set to play in the third round of the World Badminton Championships on Thursday at the Ballerup Super Arena in Copenhagen.

Both Saina and Sindhu are India's best medals hopes in the Worlds, after Parupalli Kashyap's early exit, and they made flying starts in their opening matches in the Championships.

Saina, who made a comeback after an injury layoff, due to which she also opted out of the Glasgow Games, looked in fine touch during her second round match. Judging by her performance, the London Olympics bronze medallist seemed to have recovered from a leg injury.

"I could feel the improvement happening," Saina said after her second round match. "I thought I could get a big title, but I wasn't expecting it to come so soon. I am able to take a lot from that."

The Indian ace will face up against 13th-ranked Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in the third round. Saina defeated Takahashi in straight games during their one-off clash in the Indonesian Superseries last year and will head into the match as the favourite.

Meanwhile, Sindhu is up against a tough opponent in the third round, as she will lock horns with Yeon Ju Bae of South Korea. This will be their third meeting and the South Korean has defeated her Indian counterpart in both previous clashes.

Sindhu, however, is heading into the match following a convincing straight-game victory over Olga Golovanova of Russia and will be looking to defeat Ju Bae for the first time in her career.

In the men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth has a colossal task in front of him to beat the second seed Chinese Long Chen. This will be their first meeting and the Chinese is heavily favoured to advance into the quarterfinals.

Srikanth is coming into the match with a straight-game victory over Englishman Rajiv Ouseph, while Chen thrashed his German opponent in the second round.

The men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will be up against second seeds Yong Dae Lee and Yeon Seong Yoo of South Korea. Dae Lee-Seong Yoo have won their only previous clash against the Indians, and will want to repeat that feat.

Attri-Reddy, however, are brimming with confidence after registering a stunning straight-game win over Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata of Japan. The Indians will be hoping to carry the momentum and give a tough fight to the Koreans.

Schedule of Play: Third Round

Women's Singles: PV Sindhu vs Yeon Ju Bae starts 7:00 pm IST

Women's Singles: Saina Nehwal vs Sayaka Takahashi starts 8:45 pm IST

Men's Singles: Kidambi Srikanth vs Long Chen starts 9:30 pm IST

Men's Doubles: Attri/Reddy vs Dae Lee/Seong Yoo starts 8:45 pm IST

Where to Watch Live

The day's play is scheduled for a 4:30 pm IST (1:00 pm CEST, 11:00 am GMT) start, with live coverage on Star Sports 4 in India. The matches can be watched via live streaming option HERE or stream the action online HERE. The live match updates are available HERE.

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