PV Sindhu (WR #3) vs Sayaka Sato (WR #15)
Head-to-head: Sindhu leads 2-1
Last meeting: Sindhu beat Sato, 24-22, 23-21 in the first round of the 2017 China Open
PV Sindhu had to work hard in her opening match of Group A against He Bingjiao at the Dubai World Superseries Finals on Wednesday but the win in the end will boost her confidence by miles. The victory has put her in the second position in the group standings and that is definitely the start that she was looking for.
Her next match is against the lowest ranked player in the women’s singles section at this year’s World Superseries Finals -- the 15th ranked Sayaka Sato. Sindhu should be the favourite going into this match.
However, she needs to remember that the Japanese has always troubled her. In the three matches that they have contested, two have gone the distance while their last meeting was a tight two-game encounter at this year's China Open.
Sindhu needs to take her chances early and let her aggression do the talking. A win here will push her closer to the coveted semi-final spot.
Srikanth Kidambi (WR #4) vs Chou Tien Chen (WR #7)
Head-to-head: Tied 1-1
Last meeting: Chou Tien Chen beat Srikanth, 21-17, 21-13 at the 2015 Dubai World Superseries Finals in group stage
Both the players are in the same boat after their first matches at the World Superseries Finals as both of them suffered straight-game defeats. Suffice to say, both will thus be under tremendous pressure to snatch a win in this match to have a chance of keeping their title ambitions still alive.
Srikanth opted for a two-month hiatus from international tournaments and Wednesday’s opener against Viktor Axelsen was his first international match since winning the French Open in October. The effects of the lay-off were clearly evident as his sharpness went missing.
Having the world champion in his first match added to his woes further, no matter how close the Indian made it in the second game. Now having got a taste of the conditions, Srikanth will surely be hungry to register a ‘W’ beside his name, especially after his career-best season.
Chou Tien Chen and Srikanth have not met in two years and their last showdown was at this very tournament in 2015, where the Chinese Taipei ace came out on top. The Guntur-born shuttler is now a way different player both physically and mentally and he would certainly like to grab this golden opportunity to avenge that defeat.
Here is all the information you need to know:
Tournament name: Dubai World Superseries Finals 2017
Total prize money: $1, 000, 000
Venue: Hamdan Sports Complex, Dubai
Round: Round Robin Stage
Date: Thursday, December 14, 2017
1) Srikanth KIdambi vs Chou Tien Chen at approx 4.30pm IST
2) PV Sindhu vs Sayaka Sato not before 8.30pm IST
Channel: Star Sports 2/Star Sports 2 HD
Livestream information: Star Sports HotstarPublished 14 Dec 2017, 01:11 IST