PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal on facing each other at PBL opener today

Updated: 23 December, 2017 18:29 IST | Sundari Iyer | Mumbai

PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal open up on facing each other as shuttling queens face off in PBL opener today

Whenever Indian badminton queens Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu are pitted against each other, the contest is considered to be the mother of all battles. The expectations this time around is no different when defending champions Chennai Smashers will take on Awadhe Warriors on the opening day of Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra B Indoor Stadium, Guwahati today.

PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal

Talking to mid-day about her rivalry with Saina, Sindhu, 22, who recently won silver at the Dubai World Super Series Finals, said:

"It [hype] has been there for a while now. The on-court competition is really good for the game and for the encouragement of the sport. We take the match in the right spirit."

Sindhu, who lost to Saina in the Nationals held at Nagpur last month, said there is healthy competition between them irrespective of the outcome of matches.

"For the first time we had top players playing at the Nationals. The competition is healthy between us. We both want to win and that is why we play aggressively," Sindhu said.

For Saina, it's just another game against Sindhu. "As far as rivalry is concerned, it's the people and media who talk about it. For us, it's just a game and we give our 100 per cent to win whoever is the opponent," said Saina.

About her last win over Sindhu in the Nationals, Saina said: "I moved well and my smashes went right in that match. That's why I won, but Sindhu is fit and has much more stamina. On that particular day, it is important that you move well to win the game."

This year, the PBL will feature eight teams, two more than last year and will be played over three weeks. Sindhu felt the schedule would work in favour of the players. "What's good about this year's PBL is the extra time we will get between the matches, which will help us to train and recover. Last year, when matches used to end late, we barely got any time to rest," said Sindhu.

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First Published: 23 December, 2017 13:59 IST

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