Asian heavyweights China take on former champions Japan in what is expected to be a cracking Thomas Cup final at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday, May 27.
When is the Thomas Cup final and how to watch it live on TV, online
The Thomas Cup final will start at 1pm local time, 11:30am IST, 7am BST.
Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD will provide live television coverage of the tie in India. Hotstar will provide live stream of all the matches.
China vs Japan - Thomas Cup final preview
China had assembled a full-strength squad for the ongoing edition of Thomas Cup, hoping to end a four-year title drought. The Asian powerhouses had dominated the world team championships between 2004 and 2014, winning five straight titles on the bounce.
Their dominance suffered a jolt in the 2014 and 2016 editions as they made the last-four only once in two attempts.
However, the star-studded line-up, including Chen Long, Lin Dan, Zhang Nan and Liu Cheng, have delivered for their team in style in the Bangkok. They had not lost match until the semi-final tie against Thailand on Friday, May 25 where Nan/Chen duo lost the men's doubles rubber to Marcus Fernaldi and Kevin Sanjaya.
China are certainly starting the final as favourites, given their dominant run in the ongoing tournament. The likes of Shi Yuqi and Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen pair have also stepped up delivered for the team.
China keen on clinching glory
The top-seeded national team, it seems, is determined to finish on the top step of the podium on Sunday. The comfortable win against Thailand has certainly given the team a lot of confidence going into the big final.
"China has not done well in the last two Thomas Cups and I lost my matches both times. I am really happy to get the first point today and hopefully things will turn out better this time," reigning Olympic champion Long, who comfortably won his men's singles rubber in the semi-final, said, as quoted by BWF's official website.
Japan upbeat after beating the defending champions
On the other hand, Japan, who had won the title in 2014, stunned defending champions Denmark in the semi-final on Friday.
Kento Momota's return has been a huge boost to the side and the Japanese superstar showed his class by demolishing world number one Viktor Axelsen 21-17, 21-9 to give his team a solid start in the crucial last-four outing.
Sixth-ranked Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda lost the men's doubles rubber against experienced Danish pairing of Mathias Boe and Mads Conrad-Petersen but Kenta Nishimoto made light work of Hans-Kristian Vittinghus to restore Japan's lead.
However, the tie was tied at 2-2 after Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup won the second men's doubles rubber of the day. The pressure to deliver fell on young Kanta Tsuneyama as he was up against Danish star Jan O Jorgensen.
Tsuneyama delivered in style, without losing his composure as he tamed Jorgensen, who had returned after a long injury layoff, in straight games, to help Japan set up a final date with China.
Can Kento-Kenta-Kanta deliver once again?
The onus to deliver in the final will be the tongue-twisters — Kento, Kenta and Kanta, as the BWF puts it, as they will be up against three of the best men's singles shuttlers going around.
Kamura and Sonoda will have to step up and deliver big against the top-ranked Chinese pairing tomorrow as a doubles win is crucial to Japan's chances.
Thomas Cup 2018 final Live streaming and TV listings
- China: CCTV 5+
- US: NBC Sports, NBCSports.com, OlympicChannel.com
- Malaysia: TV: Astro Supersport 4, Live stream: Astro Go
- Thailand: True Visions