Asian Games 2018: PV Sindhu vs Tai Tzu Ying final preview, telecast, date, start time and where to watch online
(3) PV Sindhu (WR #3) vs (1) Tai Tzu Ying (WR #1)
Head-to-head: Tai leads 9-3
Last match: Tai def Sindhu 21-15, 19-21, 21-11 at the Malaysia Open 2018 semi-finals in June
Last Sindhu win: 21-13, 21-15 win at the Rio Olympic quarter-finals in 2016
Once more, PV Sindhu proves to be a model of consistency as she reaches yet another final at a major badminton tournament. Creating firsts comes so easy to her and this time she has become the first Indian, man or woman, to make it to any badminton final at the Asian Games.
Sindhu had to labour extra hard to achieve this. Being visibly tired at times, due to the hectic schedule that has seen her play the Asian Games less than three weeks after the World Championships, the lanky Indian has dropped three games in four matches.
But one area in which there has been no dearth of is her fighting spirit. Be it against Vu Thi Trang in the opener or Nitchaon Jindapol in the quarter-finals or Akane Yamaguchi in the semi-finals, Sindhu has managed to find her power game when it mattered the most.
For, Sindhu faces a woman, who is currently the best in the planet. Tai has won five tournaments this year and her only loss in a final came in January at the Malaysia Masters.
Tai’s deception and finesse makes it difficult for any of her opponents to read her game well, something that even Saina Nehwal admitted after her semi-final loss to the Chinese Taipei ace on Monday. Endowed with a brilliant movement, Tai can speedily reach every corner of the court and can switch between deft touches and full throttle whenever the need is.
She has definitely mastered Sindhu the last five times they have played, which certainly tilts the balance heavily in her favour. Sindhu’s poor record in finals of elite tournaments too does not raise hopes much, given how she has shied away from stepping on the gas at crucial junctures of such matches.
However, she can take heart from the fact that she stretched the wily Tai to three games in their only match this year in Malaysia.
With her newly improved net game, the Indian can bring in a lot of variations. Sindhu obviously cannot rely fully on her attack against a player so adept at reading the minds of her opponents. A surprise element is imperative to break Tai’s rhythm, something that Saina attempted to do in her semi-final match, but failed to sustain.
Consistently going for net shots against Tai helped the former World No. 1 to even inch ahead of Tai twice in the second game -- an approach Sindhu should try to replicate on the court in the final.
By putting Tai under pressure, she can hope for a few unforced errors from the top seed, which the former has been spraying the court with of late. If Sindhu can successfully do that while keeping her own errors to a minimum, then it can surely do her a world of good.
It is easier said than done against a player of such calibre, who always finds a way to come back. But every match is new and no matter how high a wall it is to scale, Sindhu would not be giving anything less than her very best efforts.
Here's all the information you need to know
Tournament name: Asian Games 2018
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Time: (3) PV Sindhu vs (1) Tai Tzu Ying at 11.40am IST
Broadcast: Live telecast on Sony ESPN, Sony Ten 2, Sony ESPN HD, Sony Ten 2 HD
Live Updates: On Sportskeeda