Contrary to expectations, Indian shuttlers' performances at the ongoing China Open has been disappointing.
While world number two men's singles shuttler Kidambi Srikanth pulled out of the Superseries Premier tournament, citing injury concerns, reigning national champion HS Prannoy and Saina Nehwal bowed out after losing their respective second round matches on Thursday, November 16 in Fuzhou.
The onus to lead the Indian challenge now firmly rests on defending champion PV Sindhu, who has reached the quarter-final after two straight games wins. The world number two will now take on Chinese qualifier Gao Fangjie on Friday, November 17.
Second seed Sindhu was scheduled to meet her nemesis and world champion PV Sindhu in the quarter-final. However, an injury to the Japanese shuttler made a fourth meeting of the year between the two was avoided.
How to watch QF matches live
Global live streaming: BWF YouTube channel
India: TV: Star Sports. Live streaming: Hotstar
Malaysia: TV: Astro Supersport. Live streaming: Astro Go
Singapore: TV: Star Hub. Live streaming: Starhub Go
Live scores can be followed on BWF's official website.
The Rio Olympic silver medallist has not been struggling with inconsistency ever since she won the Korea Open in September, but a good run in China where she won her first Superseries title last year, will help her find confidence.
Sindhu has not dropped a game yet but was tested by her first round-opponent Sayaka Sato, who eventually lost a 59-minute encounter 24-22, 23-21. The Indian shuttler, who is likely to face reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the semi-final on Saturday, would want to wrap up things early in her quarter-final outing.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Fangjie also benefitted from her first round opponent, Okuhara's withdrawal. The world number 89 outclassed higher-ranked South Korean shuttler Jang Mi Lee 21-16, 21-5 in the second round on Thursday to set up her first career meeting with Sindhu.
Schedule of key matches on Friday, November 17
- Sindhu  vs Fangjie - Not before 5 pm local time, 2:30 pm IST
- Carolina Marin  vs He Bingjiao  - 4 pm local time, 1:30 pm IST
- Tai Tzu Ying  vs Ratchanok Intanon  - Not before 7 pm local time, 4:30 pm IST
- Akane Yamaguchi  vs Ji Shuting - Not before 6 pm local time, 3:30 pm IST