World tour finals: PV Sindhu set to defend title in China

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 10, 2019, 08.53 PM(IST)

PV Sindhu (File photo) Photograph:( AFP )

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The tournament pits the top eight shuttlers of the year against each other but Sindhu only qualified because the world champions in each of the five categories are given automatic entry.

Indian shuttler PV Sindhu will begin the defence of the BWF world tour finals title on Wednesday as the last event of the badminton calendar which gets underway in Guangzhou in China.

The tournament pits the top eight shuttlers of the year against each other but Sindhu only qualified because the world champions in each of the five categories are given automatic entry.

Sindhu's year has been very inconsistent overall and she has failed to make it past the quarter-finals in any of her six tournaments since the world championship triumph.

The players are divided into two groups of four each with the top-two at the end of the round-robin stage progressing to the semi-finals.

Sindhu finds herself in the easier of the two groups, at least on paper. The Indian shuttler opens her campaign against Japanese world no. 4 Akane Yamaguchi on Wednesday who had a stunning season in the middle of the year before her momentum was halted by a hip strain.

World no. 2 Chen Yufei and world no. 7 He Bingjiao both from China are the other players in the group.

Sindhu's match against He Bingjiao could be the key with the Indian trailing 5-9 in head-to-head meetings and having lost the last four matches in a row.

The other group is headed by world no. 1 Tai Tzu-ying alongside world no. 3 Nozomi Okuhara, world no. 5 Ratchanok Intanon and this year's surprise finalist world no. 16 Busanan ong-bam-rung-phan.