India have not won a single medal in Rio Olympics, and there are huge hopes from the Indian shuttlers in Rio. With the doubles team having exited the competition, all eyes are on three Indian singles shuttlers -- Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth – as the trio will be in action for their respective matches on Sunday.
Saina Nehwal is the biggest hope for a medal from Rio, but her performance in the first match was below par. Though she emerged victorious, Saina was troubled by Brazilian opponent Lohaynny Vicente. The Indian shuttler will hope to come up with a better performance against Ukraine's Marija Ulitina from Ukraina.
Saina should not have much problem in defeating her opponent on Sunday, but she needs to use this match to prepare for the round of 16, where her opponent will be tougher.
Saina might have not been on top form in the first match, but Sindhu looked confident as she did not take much time to defeat Hungary's Laura Sarosi in straight games, score reading 21-8 and 21-9. Sindhu has a tricky match against Canada's Michelle Li, who has been a decent performer in the badminton circuit.
Their head-to-head record also suggests that the Indian shuttler has lost twice, but managed to win thrice. If Sindhu plays her aggressive game against Li, the Indian has a greater chance of registering her second win. There is no way that Sindhu can take it easy against Li, who has all the shots in her book to create an upset.
If Saina and Sindhu are India's medal contenders in the women's singles, Srikanth is the lone Indian battling it out in the group stages. Srikanth looked calm and composed in his victory against Mexico's Lino Munoz 21-11, 21-17. Despite some fight from his opponent, Srikanth used all his high-level experience to defeat Munoz.
The Indian shuttler, when on song, can be a dangerous player as has been witnessed in the past. Srikanth has defeated some top shuttlers of the world in the past. He will be up against Sweden's Henri Hurskainen in the last group match. The match is important for both the players, who have won their respective initial matches against Munoz.
With three Indian shuttlers in the fray, India are expecting some positive results from badminton in Rio on Sunday.
Where to watch live
Saina Nehwal vs Marija Ulitina is scheduled for 5:25 p.m IST (12:55 p.m BST, 7:55 am) start. Srikanth's singles game will proceed from 7:10 p.m IST. PV Sindhu's match will start at 7:45 p.m IST.
UK and Ireland: TV: BBC. Live Streaming: BBCiPlayer.
Brazil: TV: SporTV, Globo, Fox Sports and ESPN.
Argentina: TV: ESPN and DirecTV. Live Streaming: ESPN Play Latin America.
Australia: TV: Channel 7, 7Two and 7Mate. Live Streaming: Channel 7 online.