Saina Nehwal has been decent in the All England Open so far, but needs to up the ante as she prepares to face quality Chinese Taipei shuttler Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals of the competition, Friday. The second seed is one of the favourites for the All England Open title, which she lost to Carolina Marin in the final last year.
Saina and Tai Tzu have not dropped a single game in the All England Open. With such performances, both the players will be brimming with confidence, hence the quarterfinal clash is expected to be cracker of a contest, as has been witnessed in their previous meetings.
Saina and Tai Tzu have been playing against one another since 2010 and there is hardly anything to choose from their last eleven head-to-head matches. Saina has won 5 times while Tai Tzu has won 6. Tai Tzu defeated Saina in their last meeting, during the BWF Superseries Finals in Dubai last year.
However such records do not really matter much as it is their performance at the Barclaycard Arena, Friday, which holds utmost importance.
Tai Tzu might have been unseeded in the All England Open this time around, but she is one of the best players in the competition, and can even win the title if she strikes form at the right time. Tai Tzu's route to the quarterfinals has been impressive, after she defeated Sayaka Sato 22-20, 21-16.
However, it was her victory over the fifth seed, Sung Ji Hyun in straight games 21-13 and 23-21, which showed that the Taipei player is up for the Superseries title.
Saina, on the other hand, has not played any big name so far in the All England Open, hence her clash against Tai Tzu will be a stern test. Saina defeated both her opponents – Michelli Li and Busanan Ongbumrungphan -- but the second seed must play better.
Saina's movement in the court is not first class yet, as she is coming back from injuries.
There will be huge pressure on Saina to emerge victorious against Tai Tzu as she is the only Indian shuttler left in the competition. The winner of the clash will meet Li Xuerui or Wang Shixian, who will contest in the other quarterfinals of this side of the draw later in the day.
Where to watch live
The live coverage of Saina Nehwal vs Tai Tzu Ying All England Open quarterfinal is scheduled for 4 p.m GMT (9:30 p.m IST) start. The All England Open quartefinals can be watched live in India on Star Sports 4/HD with the option of going online on starpsorts.com.
Viewers in the UK can watch Saina Nehwal vs Tai Tzu Ying All England Open quarterfinal match on Eurosport 2, with the option of streaming it online Eurosport Player.