Having achieved a straight-game win over the defending champion Akane Yamaguchi, PV Sindhu would look to use that energy and confidence to try and snap her losing streak to Tai Tzu Ying at the BWF World Tour Finals 2018 on Thursday. The job is easier said than done, though.
Ever since beating the Chinese Taipei ace at the Rio Olympics on her way to a silver medal, Sindhu hasn't been able to solve the Tai puzzle. She has fallen in each of her last six meetings, paving the way for a rather embarrassing 3-10 head-to-head record against the World No. 1.
Sindhu is undoubtedly the underdog in this matchup against the wily Tai and she doesn't have a good history of handling players who have so much deception. Having said that, it needs to be acknowledged that the lanky Indian does possess the ability to rattle Tai, just the way she did at the Australian Open last year and the Malaysia Open this year.
Both times she found a way to use her attacking skills to snatch a game off the planet's best shuttler. However, she could not sustain it for a long time, eventually losing both. A repeat of that and her improved defensive skills could help Sindhu make a dent in Tai's confidence.
Sameer Verma could not get a win in his first outing at the BWF World Tour Finals. But that was expected as the opponent was none other than the indomitable World No. 1 Kento Momota.
However, the way he fought back to make the first game a competitive affair before losing it 18-21 was impressive. Sameer needs more of that belief and alertness against the veteran Tommy Sugiarto when the two lock horns on Thursday.
He is tied 1-1 with the 30-year-old Indonesian and his last match was a 13-21, 5-21 capitulation to the World No. 10 at the Malaysia Open in June. Sameer has, however, come a long way since then in terms of showing his mental fortitude under pressure. Also the fact that Sugiarto played a laborious three-game match on Day 1 of the BWF World Tour Finals could give Sameer an added advantage.
Schedule of matches involving Indians on December 13:
Tommy Sugiarto vs Sameer Verma at 11 am local time/8.30am IST
Tai Tzu Ying vs PV Sindhu at 6 pm local time/3.30pm IST
Here's everything you need to know about the BWF World Tour Finals 2018:
Tournament name: HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2018
Location: Guangzhou, China
Category: Season-ending championships
Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018
Round: Group stage
Broadcast: Live telecast on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD from 8 am IST
Live updates: SportskeedaPublished 12 Dec 2018, 20:16 IST