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Most Anticipated Clashes Involving Indians at World Badminton Championships

The World Championships from Monday promise to provide some thrilling encounters for Indian fans with likes of PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy in the fray. However, to reach the medal rounds, these players will have to overcome some stiff challenges. News18 Sports anticipates the clashes that could provide some riveting action.

News18 Sports

Updated:July 28, 2018, 10:07 AM IST
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Most Anticipated Clashes Involving Indians at World Badminton Championships
Saina Nehwal and Carolina Marin.
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The World Championships from Monday promise to provide some thrilling encounters for Indian fans with likes of PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy in the fray. However, to reach the medal rounds, these players will have to overcome some stiff challenges. News18 Sports anticipates the clashes that could provide some riveting action.

Kidambi Srikanth vs Kento Momota (Semis)

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India’s best bet in the men’s singles at the World Championships, Srikanth has all the qualities of a top player in plenty. He had a brilliant 2017 where he reached final of five superseries events and won four of them. He continued his dominance in the early part of 2018 too and briefly reached the world no 1 ranking also. But the return of Japan’s Kento Momota after serving 15-month ban for illegal betting has been a reality check for the Indian. In the last two tournaments — Malaysia Open and Indonesia Open — Srikanth has lost to the former world no 2. Come the World Championships, the duo could engage in a fierce battle in the semi-finals. Srikanth would look to alter the record books where Momota leads 3-7 in head-to-head battles.

HS Prannoy vs Lin Dan (Quarters)

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Prannoy has been India’s most improved player in the last one year after recovering from perennial injuries. After winning a bronze at the Asia Badminton Championships, Prannoy is finally reaching his potential. He even managed to topple the great Lin Dan at the Indonesia Open and now holds a favourable 2-1 record against him. In the World Championships, there is a possibility of the two clashing once again in the quarter-finals. But to reach that stage, Prannoy will have to get the better of Wong Wing Ki Vincent and Anders Anton Sen in the initial stages. Prannoy’s big challenge will be to overcome his own inconsistency.

PV Sindhu vs Nozomi Okuhara (Quarters)

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Sindhu has had some fierce rivalries in the last couple of the years but the one against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara is perhaps the fiercest of them all. These two have played out some nerve-wrenching matches in the past. In the final of the World Championships in 2017 and they battled it out for close to two hours on the court, a clash that Okuhara won 19-21, 22-20, 22-20. In the Korea Open, Sindhu turned the tables to win another three-game encounter, 22-20, 11-21, 21-18. These two are drawn to meet again in the quarterfinals at the World Championships and another classic cannot be ruled out.

Saina Nehwal vs Carolina Marin (Quarters)

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Nehwal would be itching to get past old foe Marin, if both manage to reach the quarterfinal stage. Though Nehwal has slipped in the rankings, her experience and pedigree suggest she could topple some big names on her day. The last time these two players met was at Denmark Open in 2017 where Nehwal came out on top. Nehwal has been training hard under coach Pullela Gopichand and will certainly be well prepared to make a run at the championships. If Marin does the same, they could provide one of the high points of the tournament.
| Edited by: Arjit Dabas
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