BWF World Tour Finals 2018: PV Sindhu to face Ratchanok Intanon; Sameer Verma meets Shi Yuqi in semis
The possibility of a repeat of 2017 final remains alive after PV Sindhu drew Ratchanok Intanon while Akane Yamaguchi will face Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-finals of the BWF World Tour Finals 2018 in Guangzhou, China on Friday.
Sameer Verma, who qualified for the semi-finals in his maiden appearance at the season-ender, meets All England Open champion Shi Yuqi in the semi-finals.
Sindhu was placed in a packed Group A alongside the World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, defending champion Akane Yamaguchi and World No. 12 Beiwen Zhang. But the World No. 6 managed to put her best foot forward under pressure and secure wins over each of her opponents on her way to topping the group.
The Pullela Gopichand protege's win over Tai, especially, made the biggest news for she hadn't been able to master the Chinese Taipei ace since the Rio Olympics. It took her more than two years and six consecutive defeats to finally turn it around against the planet's best women's singles shuttler.
Sindhu banked on that confidence to beat her nemesis, Zhang as well on Friday and remain unbeaten in the group matches. Yamaguchi made it to the semis as the No. 2 player from her group.
Much like Sindhu, Okuhara too has been brilliant in the group stages and did not lose any of her matches. While the Japanese topped Group B, Intanon was the No. 2 player from the same group.
In men's singles, Sameer Verma qualified as the No. 2 player from Group B behind the World No. 1 Kento Momota. Sameer started his campaign with a loss to the Japanese southpaw before rebounding to get a win over each of Tommy Sugiarto and Kantaphon Wangcharoen, which paved his way to the last-four stage.
In Group A, Shi Yuqi showed a terrific form to record three wins in as many matches. Former World No. 1 Son Wan Ho is the other one to make it through to the semis from the same group and he takes on Kento Momota.
The clash between Momota and Son Wan Ho will be interesting to watch as the last player to whom the No. 1 player lost was none other than the Korean.