Legendary shuttler Lee Chong Wei started the season on a high when he won the All England Championships despite carrying an injury at the prestigious tournament. The 34-year-old continued his momentum into Malaysia Superseries Premier, in which he finished runner-up after losing to nemesis Lin Dan in the final.
However, Chong Wei's form dipped towards the end of the first half of the season and his dream of winning a world title was shattered when he suffered a shock exit in the first round of BWF World Championships last month.
Early wake-up call in Tokyo
Chong Wei opted to skip Korea Superseries earlier this month and returned to action in the ongoing Japan Open, in which he survived a scare in the first round against Hong Kong's Vincent Ki Wong.
However, the opening match, which he won 21-15, 16-21, 21-17, proved to be the wake up call for Chong Wei. The world number seven buckled up and made his way through a tough draw to the final, which will also be his 100th international final on Sunday, September 24.
After beating the likes of Tommy Sugiarto, Chou Tien Chen, the Malaysian shuttler sent out a warning signal to his title rival Viktor Axelsen by decimating second seed Shi Yuqi 21-19, 21-8 in just 39 minutes.
It is evident that the massive heartbreak in Glasgow last month has got Chong Wei fired up again, but the veteran shuttler faces a big test against Axelsen, the newly-crowned world champion.
Numbers do not mattter
Notably, Chong Wei has beaten Axelsen in nine of their 10 meetings in the past, but he needs to be on top of his game to overcome 23-year-old Dane, known for his relentless attacking skills, in their 11th meeting on Sunday.
Axelsen, the world number two, has not dropped a game yet in the ongoing tournament. More importantly, he has stitched a 10-match unbeaten run, which includes his wins over Lin Dan and Chen Long in the semi-final and final of the world meet, respectively.
When is the Men's singles final and how to watch it live
The Men's singles final of Japan Open between Chong Wei and Axelsen will not start before 4pm lcoal time, 12:30pm IST.
Live streaming and TV coverage
India: TV: Star Sports 2. Live streaming: Hotstar
Malaysia: TV: Astro Supersport. Live streaming: Astro Go
Singapore: TV: Star Hub. Live streaming: Starhub Go
China: TV: CCTV 5+
Worldwide live streaming: BWF YouTube channel [Not available in India]
Live scores for all matches can be followed on BWF's official website.