PV Sindhu was at her menacing best in the last competition, winning the China Open, which was her first Super Series title, while Saina Nehwal was a huge disappointment, losing in the first round. Despite their contrasting results in China Open, Sindhu and Saina will have a similar objective of clinching the upcoming Hong Kong Open, which starts with the first round matches on Wednesday.
With top shuttlers from around the world set to participate in the Super Series competition, it is not going to be easy for Sindhu, nor Saina. They have to be consistent throughout the competition to win the title.
Here is a look at who Saina and Sindhu will face in the first round, and their potential opponents in the future rounds.
Saina has been seeded fifth in the Hong Kong Open, and the Indian shuttler will start the Super Series against the same opponent, Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, who defeated her in the China Open first round. This will give Saina a perfect chance to take revenge and move into the second round of Hong Kong Open.
Saina may face Japanese star Sayako Sato in the next round. But her toughest clash will be in the quarter-final where she will meet third seed Nozomi Okuhara, who is another brilliant shuttler. A solid performance against Okuhara will give her the confidence to take on big names further in the competition.
After the China Open triumph, Sindhu might be high on confidence, but she has received a tricky draw right from the first round where she will face Indonesia's Lindaweni Fanteri. Her potential second round opponent would be the dangerous South Korean Sung Ji Hyun, who she defeated in the semi-finals of China Open.
The task does not get any simpler for Sindhu. If she beats Sung Ji, she could run into Intanon, who is ranked world number two. Sindhu has to be on top of her game to clinch her back-to-back Super Series title.
Overall, if we look at the draw for both the stars, Saina may have a slightly easier one, while Sindhu has a tough task. She needs to play some of her best badminton to win the title. Saina and Sindhu, if they play to their potential, should reach the semi-finals, but after that, the road towards the title is not impossible, not easy as well.