PV Sindhu will make her bid to become the first Indian to win the BWF Superseries Finals title when she takes on top seed Akane Yamaguchi in the women's singles final on Sunday, December 17.
The Indian shuttler, who faltered at the semi-final last year, made sure there was no such slip-up when she eased past seventh-seed Chen Yufei of China 21-15, 21-18 in the last-four match on Saturday at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.
The world number three won the first game easily against the 19-year-old, but was tested in the second. A 57-shot rally, which went in favour of Yufei, left Sindhu tired, but a couple of silly errors from the inexperienced Chinese shuttler made sure the Indian survived without having to play a decider.
Sindhu has not lost a match yet in the ongoing tournament, and has conceded a single game so far. The second seed also demolished her Sunday's opponent Yamaguchi 21-9, 21-13 in just 36 minutes in the last group stage match on Friday, December 15.
Sindhu confident but cautious
However, the Olympic and world championships silver medallist said she doesn't want to take her opponent lightly. Notably, Sindhu has beaten Yamaguchi five times in seven meetings, including their last two in 2017.
"I am not going to expect anything tomorrow. It might be a long match. It won't be as easy as it was yesterday (against Yamaguchi) when I had a 11-2 lead," Sindhu was quoted as saying by BWF's official website after her semi-final win.
Sindhu seems be heading into the clash with a lot of confidence. She said: "I'm happy to be the first Indian in the Women's Singles final here; I would like to become the first Indian to win the title as well."
Can Sindhu get past the final hurdle?
The 22-year-old is slowly gaining reputation as a big-tournament player, given that she reached the final of last year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and this year's World Championships. However, she was not been able to cross the final hurdle in either tournament.
Sindhu has a good chance to rewrite the record in Sunday's final, given her impressive run in the ongoing tournament.
Sindhu has been enjoying the conditions at the Hamdan Sports Complex, which has assisted attacking players so far. Like Friday, she will look to attack Yamaguchi. While the Japanese shuttler is known for her solid defence, the tall Indian shuttler has the edge going into the big final, given her impressive reach.
When does the match start and how to watch it live
The women's singles final between Sindhu and Yamaguchi will not start before 2 pm local time, 3:30 pm IST
Live streaming and TV coverage
India: TV: Star Sports 2. Live streaming: Hotstar
Malaysia: TV: Astro Supersport 4. Live streaming: Astro Go
Singapore: TV: Star Hub. Live streaming: Starhub Go
Live scores can be followed on BWF's official website.