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Momentum with Sindhu for Dubai final

For a 22-year-old, PV Sindhu's list of achievements is staggering. She has already been to the finals of the Olympics and World Championships. When she defeated Chen Yufei on Saturday, she joined the Chinese duo of Wang Yihan and Li Xuerui as the only players to reach the final of the World Championships and the World Superseries Finals in the same year.

So, Sindhu should rightly start as the favourite in the final against Akane Yamaguchi on Sunday.

So who is Akane Yamaguchi?

Yamaguchi announced herself to the badminton fraternity when she won the Japan Open as a 16-year-old in 2013.

The current world No. 2, her 53 wins this year -- including four against Saina Nehwal -- are the most by any player in the singles discipline. Her sole Superseries title win in 2017 came at the China Open but she reached the final of three other Superseries events.

How has she fared in the tournament and against Sindhu?

Yamaguchi had looked on the brink of elimination when she trailed 14-18 in the final game against Ratchanok Intanon in the semi-finals. But she then won seven of the next eight points to progress. At one point, all Intanon could do was wipe a tear while being on all fours at the back of the court.

However, Yamaguchi has only won two of her seven matches against Sindhu in her career. Her only loss in this tournament also came against Sindhu.

Yamaguchi is appearing at the year-ending tournament for the third time in her career -- her previous best performance being a semi-final appearance in 2014. If Yamaguchi wins, she will become the second Japanese player after Nozomi Okuhara to win the women's singles title at the tournament. Sindhu, on the other hand, will be bidding to become the first Indian to win the World Superseries Finals.

Keys to the match

Sindhu and Yamaguchi have faced each other five times since the beginning of 2016, and the Indian has won four of those matches. However, Yamaguchi's sole win came in the semi-finals of the French Open this year. Yamaguchi tried to push Sindhu deep into her forehand corner and followed up with drop shots to the Indian player's backhand in that match.

Sindhu's wingspan and reach have always given her a big advantage against Yamaguchi as she's almost a foot taller than the Japanese player. Moreover, Sindhu's solid defence has often forced Yamaguchi into going for strokes that she does not attempt normally.

On Sunday, Sindhu would do well to bring her backhand drives into play since Yamaguchi's forehand can be erratic in tense moments.