Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and K Srikanth seemed to have been at the receiving end of the convenient rules incorporated by the Badminton World Federation regarding Covid-19 protocols and the presence of no more than two players from the same nation in the singles event.
Keeping aside the dip in form since World Championships victory, PV Sindhu seems to be geared up for another major showdown in the 2nd of the BWF World Tour Finals scheduled to begin on January 27.
Sindhu will be raring to go again after successive disappointing defeats in the initial stages of the Asia BWF tour at the Yonex and Toyota Thailand Open. However, on paper things don’t seem to be all that easy. In the eight woman pool that has been drawn up, Sindhu has been drawn in a group that includes Ratchanok Intanton whom she suffered a defeat against last week, and Tai Tzu Ying, who has had a stellar Super 1000s campaign so far where she finished Runners up in both tournaments. The low-ranked Pornpawee Chochuwong might not cause so much of a problem but Sindhu has a tough road ahead of her in the next event. She would be aiming to prove her doubters and competitors wrong in the upcoming weeks.
Group A of the women’s segment includes the current Olympic Champion Carolina Marin, South Korean AN Se Young, and Michelle Li from Canada. Along with them, Russia will see its first-ever participant in a BWF World Tour Final in the form of Evgeniya Kosetskaya who will be looking to make big strides in this tournament.
The other Indian representative in the tournament is Kidambi Srikant, the current world no. 14. He looked to be in fine form heading into the previous two events but fate stepped in to have its say in the form of an injury and a positive Covid test which halted his run in both tournaments respectively. Given that he had already achieved convincing wins in both tournaments, Srikanth will be looking to outdo the competitors in his group namely Anders Antonsen whose world rank is 4. Wang Tzu Wei (rank 15) and Ng Ka Long(rank 9).
Group A of the men’s event includes formidable competitors such as Lee Zi, Viktor Axelsen (world no 5), and Anthony Gintiing who is the world no. 3 as of now.
The absence of top Japanese and Chinese badminton players will not subdue the excitement around this event especially since it sees the presence and participation of two formidable Indian shuttlers who look set to take center stage. One can only hope that it will be a third time lucky for both in this event.
Where to watch?
The BWF World Tour Finals draw is scheduled for 8:30 AM IST (Indian Standard Time) on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
Live streaming of the draw will be available on BWF’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. It will be telecast live on the Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 2 HD TV channels in India. Broadcast starts from January 27, 9:30 AM Indian Standard Time (IST). Live streaming of the BWF World Tour Finals will be available on Disney+ Hotstar OTT platform.