More at stake for Hyderabad Hunters than Delhi Acers

Carolina Marin-led Hyderabad Hunters needs to get three points off an already-eliminated defending champion, Delhi Acers, on Thursday to ensure its place in the semifinals of the Premier Badminton League here.

Carolina Marin

All eyes will be once again on Carolina Marin in Hyderabad Hunters' final league match against Delhi Acers on Thursday.   -  AP

Carolina Marin-led Hyderabad Hunters needs to get three points off an already-eliminated defending champion, Delhi Acers, on Thursday to ensure its place in the semifinals of the Premier Badminton League here.

In its final league match, Hunters will be looking to overtake Bangalore Blasters’ tally of 11 points from its five outings. Hunters, placed fifth with nine points, faces Acers that salvaged some pride after beating Chennai Smashers on Sunday.

Three teams – Awadhe Warriors, Mumbai Rockets and Chennai Smashers – have already booked their semifinal berths.

Acers will look to Jan O Jorgensen and Son Wan Ho, ranked second and fourth in the world, to play to their reputation and sign off on a winning note. So far, Jorgensen has a 2-2 win-loss record, following surprise defeats to Ajay Jayaram and S. Kidambi. Son, too, shares a similar record after suffering reverses against H. S. Prannoy and Wing Ki Vincent Wong.

The doubles specialists, Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov, would also like to redeem their reputation in their final outing of the league. In mixed doubles, Ivanov and G. Jwala appear eager to repeat their winning performance after Sunday’s conquest against Chennai.

Hunters will have to pull off something spectacular since Acers, with nothing to lose, can be expected to come hard at them. Though Carolina Marin promises to win her singles, the team is not sure of winning in men’s singles and mixed doubles. B. Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma had contrasting results against Blasters on Saturday. In any case, Hunters cannot afford to lose its ‘trump’ match. Given the match-up, the men’s doubles could provide some thrilling moments with Boon Heong Tan and Wee Kiong Tan proving a handful for the taller Russian pair.

Overall, there is more at stake for Hunters than Acers.

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