Sudirman Cup 2017: Preview and schedule of India vs China quarter-finals
Competition: Total BWF Sudirman Cup 2017
Venue: Gold Coast, Australia
Category: BWF Event
Date: Friday, May 26, 2017
Time: 7.30am IST
Channel: Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2
Live streaming: Star Sports Hotstar
(1) China vs India
It doesn’t get tougher than this for Team India. Having finished as the runners-up in their respective group, they face the top seeds and 10-time champions China for a place in the semi-finals.
And the heavyweights have been playing at this tournament like the champions they are. In their ten matches against Hong Kong and Thailand at the 2017 Sudirman Cup, they have lost only one so far – the mixed doubles against Hong Kong and that too, in three games.
Other than that, they have not even lost a game. All four of China’s singles stars – Lin Dan, Chen Long, Sun Yu and Chen Yufei have been on song, which makes the defending champions hungry and ready for yet another title.
Having said that, India’s performance, though, has been encouraging. They did not have the best of starts at this year’s Sudirman Cup and were thrashed 1-4 by the second seeds and two-time runners-up Denmark. Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu, who managed a straight-games win, was the only saving grace of that entire tie.
The contingent, however, did manage to shake off that setback and make a remarkable turnaround in their very next group match where they beat former champions Indonesia 4-1. What was more heartening to see was the fearless show the doubles teams put up.
Veteran doubles ace Ashwini Ponnappa played a crucial role and spearheaded the women’s doubles as well the mixed doubles teams to improbable victories.
That must have bolstered India’s confidence ahead of this all-important tie. All said and done, against the mighty China, India need an all-round show and hope for the Chinese superstars to have a bad day.
PV Sindhu is once again the most reliable player in the entire squad and a win can be expected from her racquet. Srikanth Kidambi has the talent to stretch the likes of Lin Dan as validated by his 2014 China Open win and his gutsy performance against the two-time Olympic champion at Rio.
Other than that, it is difficult to hope for a victory for India, who have never made it into the semi-finals.