Second seed PV Sindhu takes on fifth seed Akane Yamaguchi in the women's singles quarter-final of Hong Kong Open 2017 on Friday, November 24.
Sindhu, who recently dropped a place to third on BWF rankings, eased past Japan's Aya Ohori 21-14, 21-17 in just 39 minutes in the R16 outing on Thursday, November 23. Notably, she was the only Indian shuttler to reach the last-eight in Hong Kong after Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy bowed out following their second-round defeats.
Sindhu's form though has dipped ever since the Korea Open win, right after her runner-up finish at World Championships in Glasgow. The 22-year-old faced early exits in Japan and Denmark and agonisingly bowed out of French Open and China Open in the final rounds.
Notably, Sindhu was crushed by world number two Yamaguchi in the semi-final of French Superseries 21-14, 21-9 in just 38 minutes last month. The Indian shuttler looked worn out against her Japanese opponent, who controlled the rallies throughout the match.
Despite playing non-stop badminton since the World Championships in August, Sindhu has not opted for rest ahead of the much-anticipated Dubai World Superseires Finals, starting December 13.
Can Sindhu step up against in-form Yamaguchi?
With fatigue clearly having an impact on her performances, Sindhu somehow needs to be on top form against Yamaguchi, who is heading into the tournament after reaching three Superseires finals on the trot. Notably, the 20-year-old is high on confidence after having won the China World Superseires Premier last week.
18th match on the trot for Yamaguchi
On the flipside, Yamaguchi has played 17 matches on the trot over the five weeks and she was pushed to the limits in the first two rounds of the ongoing tournament. She was involved in a marathon (24-26, 21-16, 21-12) with her compatriot Sayako Sato on Thursday. Focus will thus be on her ability to remain fit if the quarter-final goes to the decider as well.
Meanwhile, Sindhu would want to avenge her French Open defeat by Yamaguchi in Friday's highly-anticipated clash. A win would give the Hyderabad shuttler a lot of confidence going into the final rounds of the year's last Superseries tournament.
When is the quarter-final match and how to watch it live
The women's singles quarter-final between Sindhu and Yamaguchi will start at 6:30pm local, 4pm IST and 10:30am GMT.
Live streaming and TV coverage
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.