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How has PV Sindhu fared against top medal contenders of 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

As Indian badminton forays into the Olympics without Saina Nehwal for the first time since the 2008 Beijing Games, the entire workload and pressure of bringing home a medal in the sport lays on the shoulders of the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist, PV Sindhu.

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Will PV Sindhu come up trumps at 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2021-06-07T11:52:33+05:30

Badminton was touted to be the sport India would dominate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics until some years back. But as the quadrennial event neared, the performance of Indian shuttlers kept dipping so much so that two of the best shuttlers in the country – Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth failed to even qualify for the Tokyo Games.

As Indian badminton forays into the Olympics without Saina Nehwal for the first time since the 2008 Beijing Games, the entire workload and pressure of bringing home a medal in the sport lays on the shoulders of the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist, PV Sindhu.

As the 25-year-old Sindhu looks set to enter Tokyo as the sixth seed in the absence of Spain's Carolina Marin, let's have a look at her numbers against those who are ranked above her.

PV Sindhu v/s Chen Yu Fei

With 96,465 points accumulated across 15 tournaments, the young Chinese shuttler Chen Yu Fei will enter the Tokyo Olympics as the first seed. Sindhu and Yu Fei have faced off against each other a total of 10 times, with the Indian having a 6-4 lead over her Chinese rival.

Three of the four wins for Yu Fei against Sindhu have come in three-setters, while the score-line of the remaining one match reads 21-17, 23-21. While, on the other hand, all of Sindhu's win against Yu Fei has been a one-sided affair.

Chen Yu Fei had the final laugh in the last meeting, beating Sindhu 20-22, 21-16, 21-12 at the BWF World Tour Finals 2019.

PV Sindhu v/s Tai Tzu Ying

The current world number 1, Tai Tzu Ying, will reach Tokyo as the second seed with a total of 92,275 points in 12 tournaments. The shuttler from Chinese Taipei will surely be the biggest threat to PV Sindhu in Tokyo.

The duo has gone head to head on a total of 18 occasions, and Tai Tzu Ying has dominated Sindhu almost every time and leads the Indian 13-5. It will be tough luck for Sindhu if she is drawn against the Chinese Taipei early at the Olympics. The only thing which works in the favour of the Indian is that Ying has never gone past the round of 16 at the Olympics.

PV Sindhu v/s Nozomi Okuhara

The bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics behind Marin and Sindhu, Japan's Nozomi Okuhara, will start as the third seed at her home. Sindhu and Okuhara have played against each other 18 times so far, with the Indian having a slight 10-8 edge.

Okuhara, on the other hand, would have the advantage of playing the Olympics in front of her home crowd, if there are any, and will be determined to improve the colour of her medal from 2016. In the last face-off between the two, Okuhara beat the Indian 12-21, 21-15, 21-13 at the All England Open 2020.

PV Sindhu v/s Akane Yamaguchi

Yet another shuttler who will be playing in front of her home crowd, Akane Yamaguchi, will be the fourth seed at the Olympics, thanks to Carolina Marin's withdrawal. In the 18 matches played between Sindhu and Yamaguchi, the Indian has a formidable 11-7 lead.

In fact, the duo will have fresh memories of their encounter at All England Open 2021, which Sindhu won 16-21, 21-16, 21-19, if they are drawn against each other in Tokyo.

PV Sindhu v/s Ratchanok Intanon

The 26-year-old from Thailand, Ratchanok Intanon, will enter the Tokyo Olympics as the fifth seed just ahead of Sindhu. The duo has encountered each other a total of 10 times in their career, with the Thai boasting of 6-4 lead.

If Sindhu and Intanon are to face off in Tokyo, the shuttler from Thai would surely have a psychological advantage, having defeated the Indian twice in their last two matches.


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