After enduring a tough few weeks in the BWF World Tour, Pusarla Venkata Sindhu would look to make amends when she faces Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in the semifinal of the Singapore Open Super 500 event. If she wins, it would lead to Sindhu's first appearance in the final of a World Tour event this year.
These two played one of the most epic badminton matches of recent times in the final of 2017 BWF World Championship. If this match is even half as good as that memorable contest, fans are going to have a wonderful experience.
When and where to watch?
The telecast of semi-finals would begin at 10:30 am IST and 5:00 am GMT on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 2 HD. 2:30 pm IST onwards, the games would be available only on Star Sports 3. Hotstar will be providing live streaming of the match.
Sindhu's match is the fourth in list of games to be telecasted, and hence the timing would depend on the length of the first three semis.
While she may have reached the semis, Sindhu is yet to face a big player in this tournament. She had to play a three-game match in the quarter-final to defeat China's Cai Yanyan. Her opponent, on the other hand, came through after recording a hard-fought victory over Saina Nehwal in the last-8 stage.
Both players know each other well and have competed in 13 matches with Sindhu having a 7-6 edge. But Okuhara won the biggest match of them – 2017 World Championship final. The two competitors have a big height difference but that hasn't resulted in Sindhu finding it easy to play against the diminutive Japanese.
What makes Okuhara successful is her tenacity and fitness. She has shown the ability to survive long rallies and remain patient. However, some experts have suggested that she does not have enough winning shots. That's an area Sindhu will have an advantage in.
But, in the last few tournaments, the lady from Telengana has looked ruffled when things haven't gone her way. This is where the patience of Okuhara and her determination to return every shot would come in handy. In some of her previous matches this year, Sindhu gave away early advantages to concede games to her opponents. So, keeping the intensity up would be another challenge for the tall shuttler.
The winner of this match could face world no 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei or Japan's Akane Yamaguchi. Their semi-final would be the second game on court 1 and would be telecasted live also.