The year-end badminton tournament, BWF World Tour 2019 has reached the penultimate stage with the semi-finals taking place on Saturday, 14th December. The top two players from each group will be up against each other for a place in the finals. PV Sindhu was the only Indian shuttler who qualified for the tournament. However, she lost two group matches, thus ending her chances to make the semis.
The men’s singles category will see world number one Kento Momota play against Wang Tzu-wei of Chinese Taipei in the first semifinal match while Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting will be up against local boy Chen Long in the second semi-final. Momota, the runners up at last year’s edition had entered the tournament as a favourite and will be looking to live up to expectations this time around. He has faced Wang three times and has won all three matches.
In their group match earlier in the tournament, Momota had defeated Wang 21-10, 21-9, showing complete dominance over the world number eight. Given Momota’s record against Wang, it should not be a difficult match for the Japanese.
Chinese player Chen Long is the local favourite and would have a big number of the crowd supporting him as he enters the court against Ginting. However, Chen’s record against Ginting does not favour him. In their last 10 meets, the Indonesian has won six times, while the Chinese has four wins. In their group match, Ginting went past long 21-12, 21-11.
World number one Chen Yufei will face third-ranked Akane Yamaguchi in the first women’s singles semifinals match. Yufei won all of her group A matches to show complete dominance in the group. She eased past He Bingjiao and Yamaguchi in the group, defeating both the players in straight sets. Her only tough match was against India’s Sindhu, who pushed her to the limits in a match that went on for more than an hour.
Yamaguchi’s only loss in the group stage came against Yufei. She went past Sindhu and Bingjiao in three sets to seal her place in the last four. Comparing the head to head record against the two players, Yamaguchi has a 10-6 lead against Yufei.
The second semifinal match of the women’s singles category will be played between Nozomi Okuhara and Tau Tzu-ying. Okuhara won all her group matches, two of which she won in straight sets. Her only three-setter match came against Tzu-ying as both the players gave each other a tough fight on the first day of the tournament. Tzu-ying leads 6-5 in terms of win-loss record against Okuhara.
The world number one men's doubles pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo will face the home pair of Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe in the first semi-finals.
Lee Yang/Wang Chi-ling and Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan will play the second semi-final. The pair of Ahsan and Setiawan are the second Indonesian men's pair to reach the last four after Gideon/Sukamuljo.
The first semifinal of the women's doubles will be an all Japan encounter as Yuki Fukushima / Sayaka Hirota will take on Mayu Matsumoto / Wakana Nagahara. The pairs are ranked first and second in the world respectively. China's Chen Qingchen / Jia Yifan will be up against the South Korean pair of Lee So-hee / Shin Seung-chan.
Wang Yilü/Huang Dongping and Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai will face each other in the first semifinals while Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong and Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino play the second one.
Where to watch the matches in India?
The BWF World Tour Finals matches will be telecast live on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1HD, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 3 HD.
Live stream details and info for the matches
Live Stream will be available on Hotstar.com.Published 14 Dec 2019, 14:28 IST