ANI Kowloon, Hong Kong
Nov 26, 2016, 02.14 PM
National champion Sameer Verma stunned World No 3 Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark to reach his maiden Super Series final while Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu made it to her second successive summit clash in women's singles at the Hong Kong Open, here today.
It was double bonanza for India at the Hong Kong Open, the last Super Series tournament of the season, as Sameer and Sindhu dished out some superb performances to make it a super Sunday for badminton fans tomorrow.
The 22-year-old Sameer, who is the younger brother of Sourabh Verma, showed tremendous athleticism and accuracy in his strokes to notch up a hard-fought 21-19 24-22 win over Denmark's Jorgensen, who had clinched the prestigious China Super Series Premier last week.
Sameer, who came into the tournament as a qualifier, will fight for the title against local favourite Ng Ka Long Angus.
Newly-crowned China Open champion, Sindhu, meanwhile, continued her rampaging run and disposed local shuttler Cheung Ngan Yi 21-14 21-16 in a 46-minute match to set up a clash with Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying, seeded fourth, to lay claim for her second super series title.
It is a rare occasion when two Indians have reached the finals of the men's and women's singles competition of any particular tournament. For records, Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth had made the finals at 2014 China Open and 2015 India Open and both had emerged victorious.
The highlight of the day was Sameer's stunning win over Jorgensen, who reached the finals at China Open
Super Series Premier, Japan Open (Runner-up) and Indonesia Open Super Series Premier (Runner-up) this year.
More than 40 ranking points separated World No. 43 Sameer from Jorgensen but all that didn't matter today as the Indian retrieved everything thrown at him by the Dane in the 46-minute fast-paced battle.
In one of the finest wins of his career, Sameer punched way above his weight as he opened up a massive 12-7 lead early on in the opening game. However, Jorgensen ensured he was not far behind as he clawed back to reduce the margin to 10-11 at the interval.
Jorgensen made Sameer run across the court but the young Indian was up for it most times and matched the Dane stroke for stroke to be 17-17.
Sameer marched ahead after that and grabbed three game points when the Dane hit the net.
A gruelling rally ensued with Jorgensen relying on his wristy returns and soft net play to save two points. Sameer finally pocketed the first game after winning a video referral when Jorgensen hit long.
In the second game, Jorgensen started on an aggressive note, opening up a healthy 11-5 lead at the interval. But a gritty Sameer fought back to draw level at 12-12 and then took a slender 13-12 lead.