India's Saina Nehwal takes on fifth seed Japanese shuttler Akane Yamaguchi in the women's singles second round of French Open 2017 on Thursday, October 26.
The world number 12 worked her way past Denmark's Line Kjaersfeldt 21-14, 11-21, 21-10 in a 50-minute encounter. Saina was leading 6-3 in the second game, before her lower-ranked opponent put pressure on her and went on to take the game. However, she never let the lead slip away in the decider.
Saina eyes revenge
Saina now faces a stern test against Yamaguchi, who ousted her in the quarter-final of Denmark Open last week. The 20-year-old Japanese, who finished runner-up in Odense, needed only 29 minutes to decimate the former world number one 21-10, 21-13.
Notably, last week's win was also Yamaguchi's second over Saina this year following her Malaysia Open first round victory in April.
Saina, the World Championships bronze medallist, cannot afford to give her in-form opponent any room on Thursday (October 26). It will be interesting to see how the 27-year-old goes about her job in what is expected to be a tough challenge, especially after being tested by a lower-ranked opponent in the first round.
Sindhu likely to make the quarter-final
Meanwhile, world number two PV Sindhu, who who suffered early exits in Japan and Denmark, comfortably beat Spain's Beatriz Corrales on Wednesday. The 22-year-old will now face world number 22 Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in the second round.
Srikanth faces familiar foe
Meanwhile, Denmark Open men's singles champion Kidambi Srikanth, who is in pursuit of fourth Superseries title this year, will face a tricky test against world number 15 Wong Wing Ki, whom he defeated in the semi-final in Odense last week.
Singpaore Open champion Sai Praneeth also faces a tough second round battle against comeback man Kenta Nishimoto, who outclassed former world number one Lee Chong Wei on Wednesday.
The world number 16 Indian shuttler reportedly revealed he was disappointed with himself after failing to win his first round against Thailand youngster Khosit Phetpradab in two games as he needed an hour and five minutes to emerge victorious (21-13, 21-23, 21-19).
HS Prannoy impressive
Meanwhile, HS Prannoy continued his impressive showings on Wednesday when he beat Denmark Open runner-up Lee Hyun il in straight games in the first round. The world number 14 takes on lower-ranked Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in the second round later on Thursday.
Live streaming & TV coverage
There is no live streaming of the match available in India. However, one can follow the live scores here.
Schedule [tentative] of matches involving India players on Thursday, October 26
- Saina Nehwal vs Akane Yamaguchi : 3:40pm local time, 7:10pm IST
- PV SIndhu  vs Sayaka Takahashi: 6:10pm local time, 9:40pm IST
- Kidambi Srikanth  vs Wong Wing Ki: 6:25pm local time, 9:55pm IST
- Sai Praneeth vs Kenta Nishimoto: 7:50pm local time, 11:20pm IST
- HS Prannoy vs Hans-Kristian Vittinghus: 9:30pm local time, 1am IST [Friday]
- Ashwini Ponnappa/Sikki Reddy vs Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi : 5:20pm local time, 8:50pm IST
- Satwiksairak/Chirag Shetty vs Mads Petersen/Mads Kolding : 6:25pm local time, 9:55pm IST