Match: Akane Yamaguchi v Carolina Marin
Date: 15 December, Thursday
Time: 11:30pm SGT/9pm IST/3:30pm GMT
Venue: Hamdan Sports Complex, Dubai
Competition: BWF Dubai World Superseries Finals, 2016
TV Channel: There is no live TV coverage in Singapore.
Live Streaming: Hotstar, BWF's official YouTube channel.
Carolina Marin has not started her Superseries Finals campaign in Dubai on the right note as she stumbled in her opening encounter against third seed Sun Yu on Wednesday.
The world number two came up with a lacklustre performance in the opening game, losing it 18-21 and trailed her Chinese opponent 13-20 in the second game, before she pulled off a dramatic comeback and saved eight match points on the trot. However, it was not enough to stop the big-hitting Sun as she took the match 21-18, 24-22.
The reigning Olympic champion has very little time to get back to her best in the ongoing tournament as she has been drawn in a tough group, along with Japanese teenager Akane Yamaguchi and her fierce rival PV Sindhu. Marin has struggled with injury issues after her Rio Games campaign and missed the French Open in October. However, she was able to get back to competitive action in China and Hong Kong.
Marin, who has not won a Superseries title so far in the ongoing year, will be up against Yamaguchi, who is climbing the Badminton World Federation (BWF) ladder swiftly after winning two Superseries titles - Korea and Demark in 2016.
The second seed though lost a hard-fought battle against India's Sindhu, who came back from behind to take their group opener 12-21, 21-8, 21-15. Yamaguchi, who started on an attacking note, was wearing out as she approached the decider. The 19-year-old had little answers to Sindhu's smashes and well-placed drops in the second and third games of the match.
Thursday's match will prove to be another big test for the fitness and resilience of the Japanese teen, who has had a fair share of success over Marin in 2016 - wins at Singapore and Denmark Open.
India: Star Sports HD 2