A mouthwatering clash is on the cards as Olympic medallists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have made it to the finals of the Senior Badminton National Championships to be held on Wednesday. This will be the first meeting between the two at the Senior Nationals and third overall.
Both Sindhu and Saina came through their respective semi-final matches in contrasting fashion.
On Tuesday, Sindhu, who is currently ranked World No. 2 and is also the top seed for this tournament, was given a scare by Ruthvika Shivani before she prevailed 17-21, 21-15, 21-11 in a three-game affair.
Saina who is ranked World No. 11, comfortably beat fifth seed Anura Prabhudesai 21-11, 21-10 on the same day.
Both Sindhu and Saina have won the tournament twice. While Sindhu emerged triumphant in 2011 and 2013, Saina won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.
The star shuttlers though are playing in the domestic championships after a gap.
Saina is competing after 10 years while Sindhu is participating in the tournament after four years.
Both are employees of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and have met twice so far in international competitions.
In their first meeting at the Syed Modi International in 2014, it was Saina who came out trumps. They met again at the India Super Series this year where Sindhu managed to turn the tables.
Saina had briefly held the top spot in the World rankings in 2015 whereas Sindhu is currently just behind the World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
After winning bronze at the London Olympics, Saina went through a difficult period, battling injuries, which saw her ranking plummet. But she fought her way back and won the World Championships bronze this year.
Sindhu has had a tremendous run in the past two years, winning silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics and also at the World Championships this year.
Saina, who had briefly changed coaches to be under the guidance of Vimal Kumar, is now back with Pullela Gopichand at the Academy in Hyderabad.
On the much-awaited clash against Saina, Sindhu said, "It will be a very good match. Everybody here is waiting for us to enter the final. I will have to play better than today to win the final against Saina. It will be for the first time we are playing against each other in the Nationals."