BWF World Tour Finals 2018: PV Sindhu faces Tai Tzu Ying in group stage
PV Sindhu’s quest to win her first title of the 2018 season might hit a roadblock if she isn’t at her very best at the BWF World Tour Finals 2018 for she has been placed in a highly competitive group. The 2017 runner-up is in Group A which is headed by the World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying. Defending champion Akane Yamaguchi too is a part of the same group, which also has the World No. 12 Beiwen Zhang of the USA.
Group B seems relatively easier where former winner Nozomi Okuhara is the highest seed. Former world champion Ratchanok Intanon is also there as well as Fuzhou China Open champion Chen Yufei and World No. 16 Michelle Li.
Sindhu has been to five finals this year, which also includes some major tournaments like the World Championships, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games. However, her inability to raise her level at the crunch moments has cost her dearly.
At the India Open, she failed to defend her title, despite having a match point and went down in a gruelling final to none other than Beiwen Zhang, who went on to beat Sindhu yet again at the Denmark Open.
Sindhu is tied 3-3 with Zhang, trails Tai 3-10, leads Yamaguchi 9-4 in the head-to-head records. Yamaguchi does not have a great record against the Indian but it was here at the BWF World Tour Finals last year that she edged Sindhu in three games.
Clearly this is not a good draw for the World No. 6 Indian shuttler.
Full women’s singles draw
1. Tai Tzu Ying
2. Akane Yamaguchi
3. Pusarla Venkata Sindhu
4. Beiwen Zhang
1. Nozomi Okuhara
2. Chen Yufei
3. Ratchanok Intanon
4. Michelle Li
Sameer Verma too has an equally uphill task in his maiden appearance at this prestigious event. He put up a fantastic performance to successfully defend his title at the Syed Modi International, which allowed him a berth at the BWF World Tour Finals.
But now the job gets tougher as he faces the irrepressible World No. 1 Kento Momota in Group B, besides Indonesian veteran Tommy Sugiarto and Thai rising star Kantaphon Wangcharoen.
Sameer is tied 1-1 with all three of Sugiarto, Wangcharoen and Momota. But the Japanese struck rich form after Sameer met him for the last time at the Swiss Open in February this year.
Group A in men’s singles has Chou Tien Chen, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Shi Yuqi, and Son Wan Ho.
Full men’s singles draw
1. Chou Tien Chen
2. Shi Yuqi
3. Son Wan Ho
4. Anthony Sinisuka Ginting
1. Kento Momota
2. Tommy Sugiarto
3. Kantaphon Wangcharoen
4. Sameer Verma