Tian Houwei
All England 2016 runner-up Houwei eyes Grand Prix Gold title at home Reuters

Second seed Tian Houwei takes on third seed Qiao Bin in the Men's singles title match of 2017 China Grand Prix Gold at the Olympic Center in Guangzhou on Sunday.

Houwei made it to the final after edging past world number 28 Huang Yuxiang in a hard-fought semi-final match that went to the decider 21-18, 17-21, 21-6 yesterday. On the other hand, Qiao stunned defending champion Lin Dan 21-16, 15-21, 21-14 in an hour and nine minutes to survive till Sunday.

A breakthrough in Qiao's career came when the 24-year-old stunned top seeds to win Korea Supersereis last year. However, the world number 24 had not been able to replicate his success since then and has struggled to get past the initial rounds in tournaments he has played this season.

Qiao though will take confidence from his outings in the ongoing tournament. He was tested by comeback man Parupalli Kashyap in the third round but the Chinese shuttler fended the Indian threat to win the decider. Downing Lin in their very first meeting should have also boosted his morale ahead of the big final, in which he will be eying a maiden Grand Prix Gold title.

Houwei, on the other hand, has had an easier passage to the title match, having beaten lower-ranked opponents comfortably. The world number nine, who has not had the best of starts to the new season right after a runner-up finish at last year's Dubai World Superseries final, will be wary of his younger compatriot, who had beaten him in all their meetings in the past (Cina Open Superseries 2010, China Masters 2010).

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