New Delhi: Shuttler PV Sindhu might have to upstage defending champion and familiar foe Nozomi Okuhara as the two finalists of the previous edition are drawn to meet in the quarterfinals of the World Championships, to be played July 30 to August 5, in Nanjing, China.
Okuhara, who was bothered by a knee injury in the latter half of last season, outplayed Sindhu last week in the final of Thailand Open and the Indian will have her task cut out if both progress to the last eight stage.
According to the draw announced Tuesday, Sindhu is likely to meet Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun in the third round. The Indian has received a bye in the opening round, while she will face either Indonesia’s Fitriani Fitriani or Linda Zetchiri in the second.
Saina Nehwal, however, has a tougher draw. She will have to have to battle past 2013 champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand in the third round and then she may have to face Carolina Marin.
In men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth, will open against Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen and is likely to meet Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, 13th seed, in round three. If he can surpass the hurdles, a meeting with three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia is also a possibility.
HS Prannoy, on the other hand, will begin his campaign with a clash against Australia’s Abhinav Manota and two tricky opponents in Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent and Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen might stand in his way to the quarterfinals, where he is expected to meet the All England champion Shi Yuqi.