PBL 2018 LIVE: The season to kick start with Sindhu-Marin rivalry

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The opening encounter of the Premier Badminton League 2018 will be the repeat of the Rio Olympic Games final as PV Sindhu takes on Spaniard Carolina Marin, the women’s singles champion at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The ace female singles players will take to the court as Sindhu initiates Hyderabad Hunters campaign for the crowning glory. Marin will spearhead Pune 7 Aces charge in the tournament opener on December 22.

Reigning Olympic and World champion Carolina will be playing against the team that she has been a part until last season and the opening contest is expected to be an exciting affair, one of the toughest contest to look forward to this season. It may simply be described the PBL Season 4 is going to take off from right at its climax.0

“I will be representing my own city and that makes this opening clash even more special. You can expect full-throated support from the Hunters which will prove to be our strength as we face Pune. I will look forward to play against Carolina and it will surely be match to remember,” said Sindhu.

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Sindhu and Carolina share a great rivalry, especially since the Rio Games final followed by the Worlds. Sindhu, who lost on both occasions will have the home advantage and would be looking to avenge her back-to-back losses in Mumbai, to give a positive start to the Hyderabad Hunters.

Carolina said, “I am now part of a new team and yet another Indian city; you can expect me to give my hundred percent to Pune 7 Aces. As for the match against Sindhu, both of us will want to win our tie. My job is to play to the best of my ability and I will certainly do it.”

Syed Modi International champion Sameer Verma-led Mumbai Rockets will open their campaign from Mumbai on December 23. The Pune leg will witness yet another marque clash between PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal when Hyderabad Hunters meet North Eastern Warriors on the New Year’s Day.

Former world champion Viktor Axelsen-led Ahmedabad Smash Masters will start their home campaign against Awadh Warriors and later play against the defending champion, Hyderabad Hunters.

The tournament will hold 30 ties including seven double headers this season. Each city will be hosting one double header though Pune and Ahmedabad will see two double headers this year. The 23-day event features nine teams including Delhi Dashers, Ahmedabad Smash Masters, Awadhe Warriors, Bengaluru Raptors, Mumbai Rockets, Hyderabad Hunters, Chennai Smashes, North Eastern Warriors and Pune 7 Aces.

The tournament will take place in five cities with the inaugural rounds being held in Mumbai, followed by Hyderabad Pune, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

Also Read: PV Sindhu Is 7th among Top 10 Highest Paid Female Athletes of 2018