Two key Indian female shuttlers – Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu -- are going to be in action on the first day of the main draw of the Denmark Open on Wednesday. As usual, Saina, who has been carrying the Indian flag on her shoulders in the badminton circuit, will lead the country's charge in the competition.
Saina starts off her campaign against Thailand's Busanan Ongbumrungphan in the first round of the Denmark Open. Saina should not face too many problems against the Thai girl, who has only played her once in her career -- in the Japan Open, which the Indian won with the score reading 21-14, 22-20.
Though Saina might be favourite to progress in the second round, the top seed is not going to take it easy against Busanan, who is ranked number 17 in the world. Saina can use this match as perfect preparation for some huge matches in the business end of the competition, where she could meet South Korea's Sung Ji Hyun and Li Xuerui in the quarters and semis of Denmark Open respectively.
Hence, the top seed needs to be on top of her game, if she is to win the title, which the Indian last won in 2012. It is time for Saina to deliver as the Indian has not been able to impress after her silver medal finish at the World Championships. Saina, who decided to skip the Korean Open, should be fresh for the huge challenge in the competition, where she has it in her to clinch the title.
Apart from Saina, India will also be expecting another shuttler, PV Sidnhu, to deliver the goods as well. Sindhu faces Maria Febe Kusumastuti in the first round, which should be an easy outing for the Indian.
These two shuttlers have met thrice before, with the Indian enjoying a 2-1 head-to-head record.
PV Sindhu, who is no doubt a fine shuttler, needs to come up with consistent results to be considered in the top bracket of players. However, Sindhu, who has been plagued by injuries in the past, has to put up a quality performance if she wants to even have a sniff of the title. Sindhu could meet third seed Tai Tzu Ying in the second round.
Where to follow live
Saina Nehwal vs Busanan Ongbumrungphan match starts at 11:15am local time* (2:45pm IST), while PV Sindhu vs Maria Febe Kusumastuti match is scheduled for 5:15pm (8:45pm IST) start. There is no live TV coverage in India.
Check here for all the live score updates.
*Expected start time could change as per the duration of other matches.