Day three of French Open 2017 on Thursday (Ocotber 26) in Paris was a mixed day for Indian shuttlers as Saina Nehwal and Sai Praneeth crashed out while usual suspects PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy progressed to the quarter-final.
Saina lost to world number five Akane Yamaguchi for the second time in as many weeks to bow out of the ongoing Superseires tournament, while Praneeth, who showed promise earlier this year by winning the Singapore Open, continued to disappoint with a straight-game defeat to Japan's Kenta Nishimoto.
PV Sindhu vs Chen Yufei
Start time: 5pm local, 8:30pm IST
The onus to lead the Indian challenge falls on the Olympic and world championships silver medallist, Sindhu, who will be taking on Chinese teenager Chen Yufei in Friday's (October 27) quarter-final.
Sindhu, seeded second in the tournament, will be looking for revenge against Yufei, who dumped the Indian shuttler out of last week's Denmark Open as early as in the first round.
Notably, the world number two had also lost to the Chinese shuttler at Malaysia Open in April, but found a way to beat her in the semi-final of World Championships in August.
Sindhu, much to the surprise of quite a few, has been struggling ever since she won the Korea Open title. Early exits in Japan and Denmark have come her way, but the Hyderabad girl has looked more confident in the ongoing tournament, crushing Beatriz Corrales and Sayaka Takahashi en route to the quarter-final.
Kidambi Srikanth vs Shi Yuqi
Start time: Not before 7pm local, 10:30pm IST
Srikanth has continued his glorious run of form into Paris. The Hyderabad shuttler, who rose to world number four after winning the Denmark Open earlier this week, defeated Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki for the second time in as many weeks, in straight games on Thursday in his second round clash.
The eighth seed now takes on world number six and fourth seed Shi Yuqi, who progressed to the last-eight round after overcoming tricky tests against Kazumasa Sakai and Brice Leverdez in the first two rounds.
Shi was impressive in the first half of 2017 when he reached the final of All England Championships. However, his form has taken a dip and the 21-year-old has struggled to remain consistent, unlike Srikanth, who has won three Superseries titles this year.
Having beaten Shi in their two meetings so far, in-form Srikanth will head into today's quarter-final as the firm favourite.
HS Prannoy vs Jeon Hyeok Jin
Start time: Not before 6:30pm local, 10pm IST
25-year-old Prannoy has shown flashes of brilliance this year (has beaten the likes of Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long), but the world number 12 has not been able to make a mark in the Superseries tournaments.
Prannoy will be looking to make the semi-final in Paris when he takes on lower-ranked South Korean shuttler Jeon Hyeok Jin in the last-eight round today.
Notably, the 25-year-old Indian shuttler lost his Canada Open Round of 16 contest to the world number 31, who has clinched impressive wins against higher-ranked Chou Tien Chen and Qiao Bin.
Live streaming and TV coverage
India: TV: Star Sports 2. Live streaming: Hotstar
Malaysia: TV: Astro Supersport. Live streaming: Astro Go
Singapore: TV: Star Hub. Live streaming: Starhub Go
China: TV: CCTV 5+
Worldwide live streaming: BWF YouTube channel [Not available in India]
Live scores can be followed on BWF's official website.