PV Sindhu will confront her rival Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the Tokyo Olympics badminton ladies’ singles quarter-finals at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza on Friday at 1:15 PM IST on Sony TEN2Sony TEN2 HD. 

PV Sindhu kicked off her Olympic campaign with a bang, and has won every match that she has played in her second Olympic outing. She reached the quarter-finals after a commanding win over Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt, and with the win, Sindhu becomes the second Indian badminton player, after Saina Nehwal, to enter the quarter-finals of the Olympics for a second consecutive time. All it took were 40 minutes for Sindhu to set up a clash with her rival Akane Yamaguchi Sindhu won in straight games 21-15, 21-13. 

An erstwhile World No.1, the 5ft Japanese Akane Yamaguchi should not be misread at all because of her height. The 24-year-old has built her body in such a way that she can take advantage of her height and cause problems to her opponents. Exhilaratingly spry with speedy reflexes, Yamaguchi has her rival’s tire out in view of her astounding shot-production abilities. Currently, Yamaguchi is World No.5, and is the biggest medal favourite. After her Rio Olympics journey ended in the quarter-finals by her fellow countrywomen and eventual bronze medalist, Nozomi Okuhara, Yamaguchi will be determined to perform better in Tokyo. 

In 2021, Akane Yamaguchi’s best performance came at the 2021 All England Open, where she made it to the last 8 before it was PV Sindhu who handed her a loss in a thriller. In spite of the fact that PV Sindhu, in a real sense, overshadows the Japanese pro, it should be recollected that she will have the thundering help of the homegroup, and can be an extremely precarious adversary. Out of 18 meetings, Sindhu has triumphed on 11 events, with their latest one at the All England Open 2021, where they played a nail-biter before Sindhu won, 16-21, 21-16, 21-19. 

In the semi-finals, the winner of the PV Sindhu vs Akane Yamaguchi match will take on the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 5 seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and No. 2 seed Tai Tzu-Ying of Chinese Taipei. 

In the quarters, PV Sindhu will hope to hold forth her head to head against Yamaguchi, and be on course for her maiden gold at Tokyo, but that won’t be an easy task and we can very well expect a spine-chilling contest.