The Indian ace scored prevailed 24-22, 21-15 over defending champion Akane Yamguchi of Japan, making an impactful start at the $1.5 million year-ending BWF Championships in Guangzhou, China.
The Rio Olympic Games silver medallist, Sindhu had faltered at the last hurdle in Dubai last year. This time she will be determined to complete the distance in the prestigious event that brings together the leading eight players or pairs in each category on the BWF Rankings list.
The winners in the men’s and singles category take home $ 1,20,000 (₹85 lakh each), while the champion in the three doubles categories split between them 8.4% of the total prize purse.
This is the percentage in the total prize purse of HSBC BWF World Tour Finals, which succeeded BWF Super Series Finals, to each of the 64 participants – eight each in the men’s and women’s doubles and the eight top ranked pairs in men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Winners: Singles – 8%, Doubles 8.4%
Runners-up: Singles and doubles – 4%
Semi-finalist : Singles and doubles – 2%
3rd in Group: Singles – 1.1% and doubles – 1.3%
4th in Group : Singles – 6% and doubles 7%
Sindhu’s bid to end the season with a gold at the most prestigious event on the BWF calendar might not be easy though. The 23-year-old has made to the finals of the top events only to return with the consolation of a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championship while also finishing runners-up at the India Open and Thailand Open.
She has been pitted with Nozomi Okuhara, Chen Yufei, Ratchanok Intanon and Michelle Li in what is being described as the ‘group of death’.
Sameer Veerma is the other Indian hope in the men’s singles as Kidambi Srikanth, who won four Super Series tournaments last year, had failed to qualify for the World Tour Finals this time.