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China Open Badminton 2016: PV Sindhu vs Sun Yu Final Preview, timing, date, channel, live streaming information

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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896   //    20 Nov 2016, 09:06 IST
Sindhu will be playing her first final in the China Open

The China Open Superseries Premier has been one happy hunting ground for Indian shuttlers of late. In 2014, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth scripted history by making it a double delight. Nehwal made it to the final yet again the very next year and now PV Sindhu carries the mantle forward.

Can the Pullela Gopichand protégé join her compatriots in the list of title winners at this prestigious tournament? Lets us have an in-depth analysis:

(7) PV Sindhu (Ind) vs (8) Sun Yu (Chn)

Head-to-head: Sun leads 3-2

Last meeting: 2014 Swiss Open (Sun won in three games)

World ranking: (Sun: 9, Sindhu: 11)

Lanky and aggressive – 21-year-old PV Sindhu and 22-year-old Sun Yu share a lot of similarities apart from being the current No. 2 women’s singles players from their respective countries. Having played each other from their junior days, they are undoubtedly familiar with each other’s style that is even more reflected in their close head-to-head rivalry, which Sun leads 3-2.

But this is a different ballgame altogether. Both will be under pressure to prove themselves. Performing at home in China is never easy with the entire nation’s expectations on one’s shoulders. And for Sun, that could be quite an arduous task. She hasn’t been at her very best under pressure as is evident from the staggering number of finals she has lost in the recent past. She ended up on the losing side in her last six individual BWF event finals with her most recent title coming at the Singapore Open in April, 2015.

Having said that, the youngster can also count on the vociferous home support to pull her through when the going gets tough.

Thus Sindhu has to do it the hard way as she has to battle the entire crowd and steer the momentum her way. A calm and clear head is the biggest requisite for Sindhu for Sunday’s blockbuster clash and the Indian has to look back at her marathon semi-final win to inspire herself.

Down three match points, she refused to panic and self-assuredly went about her job which speaks volumes about her newfound confidence and courage. She does not fear her opponents no matter how accomplished they might be and that was so obvious during her silver medal-winning campaign at the Rio Olympics.

She has to bring more of that attitude if she wants to break her Superseries duck.

What is heartening to see is that after struggling mightily to find her rhythm in the two tournaments post the Olympics, the 21-year-old has successfully put herself back on the right track. Even this week, things were not always smooth-sailing and she faced tremendous adversity in a couple of her matches. Against USA’s Beiwen Zhang in the second round, she had to work extra hard to eke out a three-game win just as she did during her semi-final victory.

Even though she has not been able to sustain her consistency all through her matches, her focus has been solid at the most crucial junctures of her matches which has brought her to her maiden final at the China Open.

If she can continue in that fashion, there is no reason why she cannot clinch her first ever Superseries title a year after missing out at the Denmark Open.

Competition: China Open Superseries Premier 2016

Date: 20 November, Sunday

Time: Expected to start around 2pm local time/11.30am IST 

Venue: Haixia Olympic Sport Center, Fuzhou

TV Coverage: Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD 4

Live Streaming: Star Sports Hotstar

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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