After an impressive performance in the Rio Olympics, PV Sindhu has not been able to build upon the silver medal win in Brazil. She could not impress in both the French and Denmark Open after the quadrennial event. However, Sindhu will be eager to make amends in China Open, where the shuttler has already reached the quarterfinals. Sindhu is set to face China's He Bingjiao on Friday for a place in the final four of the competition.
There will be pressure on Sindhu, with Saina Nehwal already having suffered a first round exit. India badminton fans will hope to see the shuttler all the way and even clinch the title on Sunday. For that, there is a long way to go, and Sindhu has to first beat Bingjiao.
These two players are no strangers to one another, as they have met six times in the past, with the China star having a 4-2 edge. Sindhu and Bingjiao are aware of each other's strength and weaknesses as they have already been involved in five head-to-head clashes in 2016.
Their last two meetings were after the Rio Olympics. Sindhu emerged victorious in Denmark Open, 21-14, 21-19. But Bingjiao looked in superb form in the last contest, during the French Open, where she put up an amazing performance to defeat the Indian.
Those things may have taken shape in the past, but what matters are their performances on the court on Friday. They have been brilliant so far, but with every round, the quality of the competition becomes difficult, and these two stars having some close contests this year, one should be geared for another such battle.
There is no doubt about their aggressive and positive approach, which they will take during the quarterfinals, but it will also be about being consistent for a longer time in the match to help them emerge victorious.
In the men's competition, India's Ajay Jayaram has a tough task as he is set against one of the best players in the circuit, Chen Long, in the quarterfinals. Long, without a doubt, will start the match as a favourite and should not have much difficulty in defeating the Indian player.
However, Jayaram needs to stay positive, play to the best of his ability and latch onto every opportunity that arises. Jayaram, who has never registered a victory against Long, will hope to stun Long, which is an uphill task, to reach the semifinals of the China Open.
Where to watch live
China Open 2016 quarterfinals is scheduled to start at 5 pm local time (2:30 pm IST). Here are the Tv and live streaming options.
India: TV: Star Sports4/HD. Live streaming: Hotstar
International viewers can also click here for live streaming