World champion Viktor Axelsen takes on reigning Olympic champion Chen Long in the men's singles final of China Open 2017 in Fuzhou on Sunday, November 19.
Axelsen, the world number one, made it to the final after outclassing Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong in straight games in the semi-final on Saturday, November 18. Notably, he has not dropped a game yet in the ongoing tournament.
Axelsen starts as favourite
The 23-year-old Dane, who is currently enjoying a dream run, is eyeing his third Superseries title of 2017 after winning India and Japan Open. Having beaten the likes of Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei in the recent past, Axelsen definitely starts as the overwhelming favourite to win his first Superseries title in China.
Axelsen has a poor record against local favourite Chen (2-9). However, the manner in which he crushed the 28-year-old in the semi-final of World Championships (21-9, 21-10) should give him a lot of confidence ahead of Sunday's final.
The Dane will also be eyeing revenge as he lost a marathon semi-final battle (18-21, 21-9, 14-21) to Chen in the semi-final of last year's China Open.
Home crowd likely to boost Chen's confidence
However, Axelsen needs to be wary of the crowd in Fuzhou, who will be cheering Chen throughout the highly-anticipated final. It will be a test of nerves for the numero uno and the key is to not get intimidated and remain focused, which is always easier said than done.
On the other hand, Chen, who has had an extremely inconsistent year, has a chance of sealing a spot in the World Superseries Finals if he manages a win on Sunday. A win will guarantee the world number five 11,000 points, which will take him as high as fifth in Destination Dubai Rankings.
However, concerns of fatigue loom large as Chen is heading into the final after having been taken to the distance by Shi Yuqi and Son Wan Ho in his quarter-final and semi-final matches, respectively.
When does the match start and how to watch it live
The men's singles final between Chen Long and Viktor Axelsen is scheduled to begin tentatively at 2:30pm IST, 5pm local time.
Live streaming and TV coverage
Global live streaming: BWF YouTube channel
India: TV: Star Sports. Live streaming: Hotstar
Malaysia: TV: Astro Supersport. Live streaming: Astro Go
Singapore: TV: Star Hub. Live streaming: Starhub Go
Live scores can be followed on BWF's official website.