Dubai World Superseries Finals: PV Sindhu expects 'long match' against Akane Yamaguchi in summit clash
Despite beating Akane Yamaguchi convincingly in the group stages, PV Sindhu says she will have to fight for each point in the final of the Dubai World Superseries Finals.
India's top women's singles shuttler PV Sindhu has a chance to finish the Badminton World Federation (BWF) calendar year on a high if she can beat Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the summit clash of the Dubai World Superseries Finals on Sunday.
Having won two Superseries tournaments this year — India Open and Korea Open — Sindhu is eager to add yet another title to her trophy cabinet. An added "I definitely want to become the first Indian woman to win the title. I will be playing against Yamaguchi again so it is going to be a different game. Overall, I’m very happy, but it is not over. I have to be prepared for the final," Sindhu told reporters on Saturday after her victory in the semi-final.
The 22-year-old shuttler became only the second Indian singles player to reach the final of the year-ending World Superseries Finals following a stunning 21-15, 21-18 victory over China’s Chen Yufei in the semi-finals. In the match, Sindhu used her height to her advantage, playing a mix of attack and defence, coupled with tiring rallies to unsettle the young Chinese shuttler for the second time in as many months.
Speaking about her win over Chen, Sindhu said: "Everything was fine but there were long rallies and those keep happening and we have to be ready for them — which I was. I was trailing 14-15, 16-17, even then there were long rallies but I was smart enough to take two-three points after that. Otherwise, it would have been tricky. I wanted a break before I was sweating."
The lanky shuttler's next challenge would be to stop Yamaguchi, who defeated the high-flying Ratchanok Intanon in a three-game thriller to book a place in the women's singles final. Sindhu did overcome Yamaguchi in the group stages rather comfortably with a scoreline of 21-9, 21-13 in just 36 minutes.
However, she believes that the final will be a different ballgame altogether. "I am not expecting an easy match. But I will be ready for a long match and (am) 100% confident. There will not be any easy points where I was leading 11-2, 11-3 like yesterday (vs Yamaguchi on Friday). But I think there will be long rallies and (I'll have to) fight for each point," she concluded.
The group will be setting up their living quarters and are expected to soon open the door to the Tianzhou-2 cargo craft.
Ahead of IOC vice-president John Coates' arrival, several dozen people protested against the Games in Tokyo, though recent opinion polls suggest public opposition may be weakening.
This year, the UK has been selected to host the summit and UK PM Boris Johnson is the President of the G7.