BWF World Tour Finals 2018: PV Sindhu enters final; Sameer Verma loses tight match
Indian shuttlers had mixed fortunes in the semi-finals of the BWF World Tour Finals 2018 as PV Sindhu won her match but Sameer Verma crashed out. The sixth-ranked Sindhu's 21-16, 25-23 win over the World No. 8 Ratchanok Intanon set her up for a final showdown with 2015 winner Nozomi Okuhara.
The Japanese bested her compatriot Akane Yamaguchi 21-17, 21-14 in the other semi-final.
This is the second consecutive year that Sindhu has reached the final of this prestigious year-ender. Last year, she suffered a three-game defeat to Yamaguchi.
While Sindhu had a breezy time in the first game, the second game turned out to be very tight. Intanon kept hitting back through her array of aggressive body smashes, punctuated by delicate touches at the net.
Falling behind in the game didn't bother her for she managed to draw level until 19-19 and even earned a game point at 20-19.
Sindhu erased that with a terrific smash and got her first match point at 22-21. She couldn't convert it but didn't allow the Thai to convert her three game points either. Sindhu finally had the match in the bag on her second match point.
Verma squanders match point to lose
It was a heartbreaking defeat for India's Sameer Verma as he failed to make use of a vital match point that he earned in the second game.
With his rock-solid defence and patience, the BWF World Tour Finals debutant gave quite a scare to the World No. 2 Shi Yuqi. Constantly making the Chinese move all over the court, he brought Shi out of his comfort zone and got his only match point at 20-19 in the second game.
Shi saved it with a big smash into the long forehand corner of Verma, denying him the win.
It only emboldened Shi and he grew in confidence as the match progressed, before winning it on his fourth match point in the decider. The Chinese will meet the winner of the semi-final between current World No. 1 Kento Momota and former No. 1 Son Wan Ho.