General

Antonsen will face Christie for the sixth time this year (Photo: Badminton Photo
Preview: Men's and Women's Singles
Date: 12/9/2019 9:01 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The grand finale of the season is upon us. The HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2019 will be held from 11 to 15 December in Guangzhou, China and has a total prize of one and a half million US dollars. 

There will be two round-robin groups of four, with the top two players proceeding to the semifinals.

In the men’s singles, the groups have been drawn as follows:

Group A
Kento Momota (JPN)
Jonatan Christie (INA)
Anders Antonsen (DEN)
Wang Tzu Wei (TPE)

Group B
Chou Tien Chen (TPE)
Chen Long (CHN)
Viktor Axelsen (DEN)
Anthony Ginting (INA)

The two-time world champion Kento Momota, who fell at the final hurdle last year, will have to contend with Jonatan Christie, who defeated him earlier in the year at the Malaysia Open. Similarly, Antonsen managed to record a well-fought three-game win over the Japanese superstar back in January at the Indonesia Masters. Despite this, an overall healthy record gives Momota confidence to top the group. 

The battle for second place will be a fascinating watch. Antonsen and Christie played all their five career encounters in 2019, with the head to head slightly in the Indonesian’s favour at 3-2. Wang Tzu Wei, who is more than capable of a big performance, may well have a big say in comes out of this group. 

Group B is very even on paper, which is excellent news for the fans. The opening games, as a result, may prove to be crucial, with two former world champions, Viktor Axelsen and Chen Long due to clash on the opening day. Although Axelsen has scored two wins against the reigning Olympic champion this year, Chen Long took a tight three-game thriller at the Denmark Open semifinal, which may be in the back of the Dane’s mind in Guangzhou. 

Women’s singles

In the women’s singles, the groups have been drawn as follows:

Group A
Pursarla V Sindhu (IND)
Chen Yu Fei (CHN)
Akane Yamaguchi (JPN)
He Bing Jiao (CHN)

Group B
Tai Tzu Ying (TPE)
Ratchanok Intanon (THA)
Nozomi Okuhara (JPN)
Busanan Ongbamrungphan (THA)

The defending champion Pusarla V Sindhu will once again find herself in a group with Akane Yamaguchi, the current Asian Champion. Sindhu has a favourable record against Yamaguchi, but in their two matches this year, the Japanese ace came out as the comfortable winner. Both Chinese players find themselves in the same group. The current world championship bronze medallist, Chen will be hoping to qualify to the latter stages along with compatriot He Bing Jiao, the current Asian championship silver medallist. 

Group B has two-time season finale winner Tai Tzu Ying with current world championship silver medallist, Nozomi Okuhara. Tai leads Okuhara in their 2019 head to head 2-1. 

Much like China, Thailand has two of their players drawn in the same group. Intanon, the world championship bronze medallist following a narrow loss to Okuhara, will be hoping to overturn this result. Ongbamrungphan, who has defeated both Okuhara and Tai in her career, will be hoping for a big performance in China.
 
For the full groups and fixtures list, click here.
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