PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth Look to Cross Final Hurdle in Dubai
It's time for the Dubai World Superseries Final and the Indian fans are waiting with bated breath to get their first ever champion in the tournament. With the country's best — PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth — representing India, the title wait could certainly end this time round.
PV Sindhu with Pullela Gopichand and Kidambi Srikanth (Getty Images)
New Delhi: It's time for the Dubai World Superseries Final and the Indian fans are waiting with bated breath to get their first ever champion in the tournament. With the country's best — PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth — representing India, the title wait could certainly end this time round.
As the name World Superseries Final suggests, the difficulty for the year ending tournament goes up a few notches and just the very best players — who have acquired highest points in the 12 Superseries tournaments throughout the year — qualify to play it.
Since the inception of the tournament in 2008, no Indian has managed to win the coveted title, but this year the chances of winning look really high.
Kidambi Srikanth, who has won four Superseries tournaments this year — French Open, Denmark Open, Australia Open and Indonesia Open — is in the form of his life and his aggressive court play has impressed one and all. In fact, it wouldn't be wrong to say that he is the strongest contender in the men's singles. He has hardly put a foot wrong since his ordinary showing in the India Open this year and has troubled the world's best with his unrelenting stroke play.
In PV Sindhu, India has another dark horse who has had a mixed year. In certain tournaments like World Championship, India Open and Korea Open, she displayed a lot of tenacity to overcome opponents like Carolina Marin and Nozomi Okuhara. But then in others she just didn't look like a world beater. But she has shown that she is a big-match player, and she thrives when under pressure.
B Sai Praneeth, World No. 17, who trains with these two star shuttlers at the Gopichand Academy, and is Srikanth's sparring partner too, is hopeful that at least one of them is going to go the distance, and open the account for India.
"We couldn't have asked for better players at the tournament. Srikanth has been on rampage since the Singapore Open. He had taken a break, just to concentrate on this tournament, and you will see the results. He has a great chance of winning," Praneeth told News18 Sports.
Asked whether playing in the same group as Viktor Axelsen could hamper his chances, Praneeth was quick to reply: "Srikanth has beaten him this year, and he is not unconquerable. And in the other group we have Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei, so I'm happy with the draw.
"As for Sindhu, she is a confidence player. A lot depends on how confident she is feeling on a given day. But I expect her to come up with her best in the tournament. If you see, there is only one player in the world who can beat Tai Tzu-ying, and that's her. So I have my fingers crossed."
This is one tournament where a player doesn't have the luxury of moving to the next round getting an easy draw, but has to fight it out against every player in the group, so fitness needs to be great, and our players are among the best even in that department.
"I think since coach Mulyo Handoyo has come, our fitness has reached another level. I would like to believe that we are one of the fittest players now, and that is why, so successful. This tournament will be a real test of fitness, so let's see what happens now,"Praneeth concluded.
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