Dubai World Superseries Finals: Sindhu wins again, Srikanth ousted

Sindhu beats Sayaka Sato 21-13, 21-12 to notch her second win in as many matches while Srikanth loses his second match to crash out of the tournament.

A file photo of India's P.V. Sindhu. The Indian beat Japan's Sayaka Sato 21-13, 21-12.   -  Sandeep Saxena

It was a sublime performance by Sindhu. She was on the top of her game and dished out excellent cross court finishes, smashes and delicate drops to clinch the tie. Sindhu wins 21-13, 21-12 for her second win in as many matches at the Dubai Superseries Finals.

21-12 Sindhu finally wins. Sato finds the net with a weak return and Sindu walks away with the match.

20-12 Sato is making the Indian sweat in the final stages of the match. Another unforced error.

20-11 Sindhu doesn't take this clean.

20-10 Sato saves two. Smashes it on Sindhu's body.

20-9 Sato saves one. Unforced error by Sindhu, she inds the net.

20-8 Match point for Sindhu.

19-8 A rare mistake by Sindhu. Finds the net and Sato finally gets a point.

18-7 Sindhu jumps and smashes it with ease. Sato could only see the shuttle dipping on her and before she could realise, Sindhu ran way with the point.

17-7 The pace is just exciting. Sindhu on top after a good forehand winner.

16-7 Sindhu is pouncing on Sato. Smashes after smashes and Sato has no answers to the Indian's agile game play.

14-7 That was a good smash by Sindhu. She gets it all right and packs a punch.

12-7 Sato sends her serve out, down the line. Sindhu doesn't break a sweat for that point.

The players take a timeout.

11-6 Sindhu sends a probing cross court smash and Sato cannot take it clean and finds the net instead. Sindhu in the lead.

9-6 Sindhu challenges an umpire net call. Sato gets the point.

9-5 That was a good smash by Sato, targetting Sindhu's backcourt to her left and the Indian cannot reach it. Sindhu still in the lead.

8-4 Sato cannot time her shot well and it goes on the net. Sindhu wins the point.

7-4 The Indian back with the serve and a 3-point lead.

6-4 Sindhu hits out down the line and Sato gets the serve.

6-3 A good cross court backhand by Sindhu and it was delicately done. Sato cannot reach it.

5-3 That was a monstrous smash by Sato. It just whizzed past Sindhu.

4-2 That was a great take by Sindhu but she couldn't take it beyond the net. Sato sent a dipping cross court smash and Sindhu took it clean but couldn't time her shot and found the net instead.

3-1 That was a good smash by Sindhu.

2-1 What a rally. Sindhu prevails. It had everything. Good smashes, cross court shots and delicate drops. Top quality badminton on display.

Second game begins

21-13 Sato hits out down the line and Sindhu wins the first game.

20-13 Game point for Sindhu.

19-13 Two points by Sato. Sindhu finds the net.

19-11 Sato packs a punch but it is too much and the shuttle sails out down the line. Sindhu dominating this now.

18-11 Unforced errors by Sato gives Sindhu a seven-point advantage.

15-11 A delicate drop shot by Sato and Sindhu cannot reach for it.

15-10 That was a superb smash to the backcourt and Sindhu takes a five-point lead.

14-10 Sindhu finds the net.

13-8 That was a good shot to the backcourt by Sindhu and Sato cannot take it clean.

12-8 Sindhu holds on to the lead with some good cross court finishes.

7-3 Four points on the trot for the Indian. Sindhu running away with the lead here.

3-3 Sindhu levels the scores with some sublime finishes.

Sindhu runs away with an early lead in the first game.

First game begins

India's badminton poster girl P.V. Sindhu takes on Sayaka Sato.

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What a heartbreak for Srikanth. He was leading for the most part of the game but couldn't hold his nerve in the end and loses his second game on the trot. Chou wins 21-18, 21-18 in a 43 minute match.

21-18 What a comeback by Chou. It was just unfortunate that an unforced error that did Srikanth in. He cannot return it properly and finds the net.

20-18 Match point for Chou. Srikanth hits out.

19-18 Chou smashes it to the backcourt and takes the lead again.

18-18 Srikanth draws level with some aggressive play. Pounces on a half chance and smashes it to win the point.

18-17 Chou takes the lead and what a period to take it. A drop shot and he heaves a cry of relief.

17-17 The Chinese Taipei player draws level. Srikanth is wayward with his timing.

17-16 Chou takes two points again as unforced errors (net shots) does Srikanth in.

16-14 Chou challenges an out call and is unsuccessful. It was way out of the line. A poor challenge.

15-14 Chou takes two points on the trot with some good winners.

15-12 A neat drop shot by Srikanth and Chou cannot take it clean.

14-12 Srikanth smashes to the backcourt to Chou's right and restores a two-point lead.

13-12 A good backhand smash by Chou after taking a couple of drop shots clean.

13-10 A fine finish by Chou. An accurate back court smash gives him the serve. Srikanth leads by three points.

12-9 A good rally. Both the players produced some good cross court shots and finally Chou sends one out down the line.

10-9 Srikanth finds the net. Chou crawls back. The lead for Srikanth is just one point now.

10-8 A good shot by Chou. He times it well to Srikanth's left and the Indian is left wanting.

9-7 Srikanth executes a good forehand winner.

7-6 Srikanth tries to drop it fine. He cannot execute it to perfection and loses the serve.

7-5 Chou tries a drop shot. The shuttle hits the net and just goes into Srikanth's side. The Indian did well to take it but cannot get his shot on track and loses the point.

6-4 A monstrous cross court smash by Srikanth and he restores a two-point lead.

5-3 A smash by Chou and Srikanth doesn't take it clean. A point to Chou.

5-2 Srikanth with the lead now.

2-2 A net shot by Srikanth helps Chou draw level.

2-0 Srikanth starts on an aggressive note.

Second game begins

21-18 Chou prevails in the end. What a game!

Another time out. Srikanth has saved six game points.

20-18 That was a great rally. The players sending each other all across the court. Srikanth finally takes the point with a great shot as Chou couldn't take it.

20-17 Chou hits out down the line.

A time out.

20-16 Chou is losing the plot. He finds the net as Srikanth takes his fourth point on the trot to deny Chou.

20-15 Two game points saved by Srikanth. He is trying hard to stage a comeback.

20-13 That was good smash by Srikanth. He times it well to Chou's left and deny's a point.

20-12 Game point for Chou. Srikanth hits out beyond.

19-11 Chou hits out down the line and it gives Srikanth a breather in the game. He needs to capitalise on this to stage a comeback.

19-9 What a smash by Chou. It had to be a winner. Chou with a good lead.

18-9 An excellent cross ccourt winner by Srikanth. The shuttle was dropping on Chou and he had no time to take it.

17-8 The Indian fails to retrieve a delicate drop shot and Chou with a handy lead.

15-8 Srikanth packs too much power in his shot and hits out. Chou is running away with the lead here.

12-8 Srikanth pulls the trigger at the right time. Times his smash to perfection as Chou is left searching for answers.

11-7 A good rally. Srikanth finally gets a forehand winner and it is beyond Chou's reach.

11-6 Srikanth tries a smash. The shot selection was good but the execution wrong. Another net shot dents Srikanth's progress.

10-5 Srikanth is going haywire with his shots and another net shot gives Chou a five-point lead.

9-5 Chou hits out and Srikanth gets the serve.

9-4 Srikanth takes it well but cannot time his shot well. The shuttle hits the net.

Shouts of come on Srikanth engulfs the arena.

7-4 A good smash by Chou and he takes a two point lead. Srikanth cannot reach it to his left.

5-4 That's a good comeback from the Indian. Chou tries to pick up a good shot but cannot take it clean.

5-3 Three points for Srikanth as Chou sends one down the line beyond.

5-0 Chou running away with the lead. Srikanth tries to time it but cannot send it beyond the net.

3-0 A good shot by Chou gives him a three-point lead. He delicately times it and with the shuttle dropping on Srikanth fast, the Indian could only be a mute spectator.

2-0 Chou takes the first two points.

First game begins

The players walk out and are warming up.  We are all set for the first game.

Kidambi Srikanth will have to shake off his defeat on Wednesday to World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen as he braces for a new challenge in the form of Chou T. Ch. of Chinese Taipei.

The World No. 4 Indian was unable to bring out his top game as he suffered a 13-21, 17-21 loss to Axelsen, who is also the defending champion in the Group B men’s singles match that lasted just 38 minutes.

Match Report

Srikanth has faced Chou twice so far and the head-to-head record stands at one apiece. Their first meeting was in November, 2014 at the Hong Kong Open. Srikanth came out on top in that pre-quarter encounter, beating Chou 21-18, 20-22, 16-21.

The second meeting saw Chou blank the Indian 21-17, 21-13 in the 2015 Dubai World Superseries.

Meanwhile, Sindhu had a more productive opening day after she beat China's He Bingjiao 21-13, 16-21, 21-18. Sindhu was playing an opponent she has faced twice this year, as she showed good defence engaging her rival in rallies by putting the shuttle in awkward positions and tried to close out the points. Read the match report

How the Superseries is structured:

 This is a year-ending one-million dollar event for the top-eight players/pairs (in each of the five events) based on their performances in the BWF Superseries.

There are 12 Superseries events every year out of which the best 10 performances over the last 52 weeks are considered for ranking purposes. Of these 12 legs, eight are held in Asia, three in Europe and one in Oceania.

The two-tier circuit has five events which are “Premier” events offering higher prize-money and ranking points. There are two riders attached to the eligibility of the players.

World champions enjoy a direct seeding irrespective of their BWF Superseries rankings. Since no World Championship is held in the year of the Olympics, the gold medallists in singles and doubles are seeded.

Secondly, not more than two players/pairs are considered for participation from a country. The players/pairs are divided into two groups of four each.

Following an all-play-all phase, the top-two players/pairs from each group advance to the semifinals. The winners clash in the final.