Bengaluru, Nov 29: India's Olympic silver medallist shuttler PV Sindhu, finished strongly in the last two qualifying events to surge into the prestigious season-ending Dubai World Superseries Finals for the first time. However, Saina Nehwal missed out.
The tournament will be held in Dubai from December 14 to 18, featuring the best eight singles players and doubles pairs of this year's BWF World Superseries tour. The final list of players was announced on Tuesday (November 29).
Qualification seemed a distant dream for Sindhu, who was 16th in the Destination Dubai Rankings with just two events left. The 21-year-old's victory at the THAIHOT China Open earned her 11,000 points and revived her chances.
However, competition for the last Women's Singles spot was tight with Sindhu's Indian compatriot Saina, Japan's Sayaka Sato and Minatsu Mitani, and Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in the reckoning as players gathered in Hong Kong.
When the dust settled, it was near six-footer Sindhu who stood tall, clutching the last plane ticket to Dubai; her runner-up finish at Hong Kong Coliseum seeing her past the other hopefuls.
"I did not think too far ahead," Sindhu said. "I knew that if I did well, I would qualify for Dubai. I'm looking forward to it.
"It's an honour to play in Dubai, it's an event that I have always wanted to qualify for. My form is good and hopefully it will continue in Dubai. I'm happy that I did well the last two weeks. I'm a bit upset I didn't win Hong Kong, but Tai (Tzu Ying) played better than me."
It was a bitter-sweet celebration for India though as former world No.1 Nehwal fell at the last hurdle in her comeback from knee surgery. Her quarter-final loss in Hong Kong saw her finish ninth overall.