The qualifying race for the Dubai World Superseries Finals is heading for a tense finish with only two events to be played before the line-up for the lucrative US$1 million (Dh3.67m) season-ending tournament, which will be held at the Hamdan Sports Complex between December 14-18, is finalised.
With only the China Open and the Hong Kong Open remaining on the 12-event series, some of the top stars, such as India’s Saina Nehwal, are not assured of their place in the Finals yet and will have to pull out all the stops in the events left.
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To qualify for the Finals, players must finish in the top eight of the Destination Dubai rankings after the 12 tournaments. But with the Olympic gold medallists all but guaranteed a wild card for Dubai this year – provided they are ranked in the top 20 – only seven qualifying spots each could be available in the men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles categories.
Nehwal, who has not played since the Rio Olympics because of a knee injury, is currently ranked No 8. But with Olympic women’s singles champion Carolina Marin, who is currently at No 10, assured of a Dubai wild card, the Indian will have plenty of work to do when she returns to action at the China Open.