Saina Nehwal is the lone survivor for India in the ongoing French Open Superseries after top Indian shuttlers such as Kidambi Srikanth and PV Sindhu were defeated early in the competition. The top seed has reached the quarter finals of the French Open after defeating Japan's Minatsu Mitani in the second round on Thursday.
Saina, who had come into her second round clash after being defeated by Mitani in the Denmark Open and Japan Open, was aware of the need to come up with a big game against the Japanese. Saina defeated Mitani in straight sets, 21-19 and 21-16.
With it, Saina will meet one of the favourites, Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon, who defeated Japanese Sayaka Sato in straight sets with the score reading 21-15 and 21-13.
One cannot wait for the match featuring two exciting players in the circuit -- Saina and Intanon â€“ as they are entertaining to watch. Saina enjoys a superior head-to-head record against Intanon, who has only registered three wins as compared to the Indian record of six wins. They have just met once this year, during the India Open, where Saina won the match, 21-16 and 21-14.
Saina, who has gone cold after her silver medal winning performance in the world championships, will be eager to perform well in the French Open and clinch the title as well. Saina may have won a number of Superseries titles in her career, but the French Open has always deluded her.
However, winning the 2015 edition of the tournament is not going to be an easy one with a number of top shuttlers in the fray such as Wang Shixian, Li Xuerui, Carolina Marin among others. It is the presence of such quality players in the women's circuit that makes the competition more interesting.
As of now, the Indian shuttler needs to concentrate on Intanon, who will also be eager to win her first French Open title and make no mistake, the Thai girl has all the ammunitions in her bag of tricks to not only upset Saina, but also go all the way and win the title. One has to remember that Intanon is a former world champion, so, she knows what it takes to win mega titles.
The winner of the quarter finals clash between Saina and Intanon will face the winner of the other match featuring Wang Shixian, who has won the French Open in the last two editions, and Nozomi Okuhara.
Where to watch live
Saina Nehwal vs Ratchanok Intanon French Open quarter final match has been scheduled for 5:45pm local time (9:15pm IST) start. Indian viewers can watch the Saina Nehwal vs Ratchanok Intanon quarter final match live on Star Sports1/HD with live streaming on starsports.com.
The live scorecard of the all the French Open matches can be found here.
*Expected start time could change as per the duration of other matches.