Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu are likely to lock horns in Round 2 of the Indonesia Masters Super 500 tournament that begins in Jakarta on Tuesday.
World Champion Sindhu and title-holder Saina dished out a promising performance in the season-opening Malaysia Masters, but her campaign was cut short in the quarter-finals after she went down in straight sets to bitter rival Carolina Marin 8-21, 7-21. Sindhu will hope to find her rhythm quickly after a 16-21, 16-21 loss to her nemesis Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
Sindhu, seeded fifth in the tournament, will open against Japan’s Aya Ohori, whom she beat last week in the second round, while Saina faces another Japanese Sayaka Takahashi in her opening match.
Both the Olympic medallists are expected to overcome their respective first-round opponents and then square off in what would be their fifth encounter at the international stage.
Sindhu has a 1-3 record against Saina, who always had the upper hand over her younger compatriot. All the four matches between the duo have ended in straight games.
In the other matches, Kidambi Srikanth, who exited in the first round of Malaysia Masters, will start his campaign against Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito while World Championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth, who too failed to cross the opening hurdle at Malaysia, will face eighth seeded Chinese Shi Yu Qi.
Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy, who had become the victims of world no 1 Japanese Kento Momota last week in the first and second rounds respectively, will open against local stars Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Jonatan Christie respectively.
In doubles, men’s pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will square off against Indonesian heroes Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, seeded second.
Women’s pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will meet Japanese combination of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida, while Satwik and Ashwini will pair up taking on Ireland’s Sam Magee and Chloe Magee in mixed doubles.