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World Tour Finals: How Kidambi Srikanth can still qualify

Could Kidambi Srikanth pull off a dream run of results to join HS Prannoy in the year-ending World Tour finals? Here's how that could still play out:

World Tour Finals: How Kidambi Srikanth can still qualify
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By

Rajdeep Saha

Updated: 2022-11-14T13:34:10+05:30

With the calendar year almost coming to a close, shuttlers from across the globe and those in the vicinity of the top eight of the BWF World Tour rankings will be looking to make the cut for the World Tour Finals. The final tournament on this year's tour is the Australian Open, which begins on Tuesday.

Amongst Indians, the likes of Lakshya Sen and doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty have announced that they would not be participating in any more events this year. As it stands, Sen (11th) and Sat/Chi (13th) would have had to win the Australian Open to be in the contention. PV Sindhu also withdrew from the WTF owing to injury.

HS Prannoy (3rd) has already booked his berth at the Finals. As it stands, Kidambi Srikanth (10th) is the only other Indian who still stands a chance of joining Prannoy in the year-ending tournament in Guangzhou.

Here are the scenarios through which Srikanth can sneak into the top eight for the World Tour Finals:

With Viktor Alexsen, Chou Tien Chen, and HS Prannoy, Anthony Ginting, and Jonatan Christie not playing in this, there will four shuttlers above Kidambi in the rankings who will be playing - Kodai Naraoka, Loh Kean Yew, Lu Guang Zu, and Lee Zii Jia. Another shuttler on the Indian's heels is China's Zhao Jun Peng, who could also overtake Kidambi.

Points

Lu (8th)

Lee (9th)

Kidambi (10th)

Zhao (12th)

Current

56310

54930

50250

48310

Round 1 win

58040

56600

51920

49980

Round 2 win

59060

57680

53000

51060

Round 3 win (QF)

60160

58780

54100

52160

Round 4 win (SF)

61210

59830

55150

53210

Round 5 win (F)

63310

61930

57250

55310

Runner-up

62260

60880

56200

54260

As the table above shows, if Kidambi reaches the Australia Open final, he goes up to 56,200 points. But even this might turn out to be inadequate to finish in the top 8. If he wins the title, however, his chances go up manifold.

If Kidambi is eliminated in Round 1 (Round of 32)

There is no way he can make it to the WTF as he has a considerable gap to close with the 8th and 9th ranked shuttlers.

If Kidambi is eliminated in Round 2 (Round of 16)

Kidambi, who's against Japan's Kenta Nishimoto in Round 1, is currently on 50250 points. If the Indian wins the match, his tally increases to 51920. But he remains at 10th spot.

He has to go past Lee Zii Jia (54930 points) and Lu Guang Zu (56310 points) who are 9th and 8th respectively in the rankings. Even If both Lee (Malaysia) and Lu (China) lose their matches, they will still remain ahead of Kidambi.

If Lee and Lu win their first round matches, then their totals will come to 56600 and 57980 respectively. This means that Kidambi will have to go further in the tournament than just Round 1.

If Kidambi is eliminated in Round 3 (Quarter-finals)

A Round 2 win will take Kidambi's tally up to 53000. But this would still not be enough to overtake the 9th-ranked player Lee - even if he loses his first round match. Therefore, a Round 3 appearance is also not going to be enough for Kidambi.

If Kidambi eliminated in Round 4 (Semi-finals)

Here's where it gets a little easier for Kidambi.

Provided both Lee and Lu win their first round matches, the shuttlers will face each other in Round 2. This means the Indian will have to compete with one less player when it comes to the race to Guangzhou.

Here's how the points scenario can look one of two ways after Round 2:

  • Lee defeats Lu- If Lee wins against Lu, then the Malaysian's points will become 57680, and Lu will be out of the tournament.
  • Lu defeats Lee- Keeping the Indian's tally constant, if Lu wins against Lee, the Chinese shuttler's points will increase to 59060, and Lee will be out of the event.

But, this will be in vain if Kidambi gets eliminated in the quarter-finals. He will need to win the quarters and go on to the semi-final, irrespective of whom of Lu or Lee stays in the event.

If Kidambi is eliminated in Round 5 (Final)

Kidambi's toughest test, according to the Australian Open draw will be in the semifinals, where he could go up against Loh Kean Yew. If he loses in the semifinal, it would be very hard for him to overtake Lee and Lu. In case he makes it to the final, he is likely to overtake one of Lee or Lu, but is likely to finish the year at 9th spot, agonisingly close to the WTF cut-off.

If Kidambi wins Australian Open

If Kidambi manages to pull off a dream run and win the Australian Open, he goes up to 57,250 points. This could turn out to be adequate to finish the year at 8th spot if Lu Guang Zu is knocked out in Round 1 and Lee Zii Jia is knocked out in Round 2.

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