BWF World Tour Finals 2018: PV Sindhu wins her maiden title; Sameer Verma puts up an impressive show
The HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2018 ended today, in Guangzhou, China.
In this year's tournament, two Indians, viz Sameer Verma and PV Sindhu, managed to qualify.
PV Sindhu wins her maiden title
PV Sindhu, who is presently ranked number 6 in the world, entered the tournament with little expectations since she wasn't very good form in the lead-up to the event. On the other hand, Sameer Verma, ranked 14th in the world, entered the tournament on the back of some consistent performances throughout the year.
However, in this tournament, PV Sindhu was in excellent form from the very beginning. In the group stages, she won all her matches. She started off by winning against World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, then beat World Number 1 Tai Tzu Ying and finally beat Beiwen Zhang of USA, to finish at the top Group A and enter the semifinals.
Then, in the semifinals, she had a hard-fought 2 set victory against Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand. Sindhu won the first game easily 21-16. But in the second game, Sindhu had to save three game points. She eventually won the game 25-23.
Today, in the finals, Sindhu faced her old nemesis, Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. Sindhu started off in rollicking fashion as she went up 14-6 in the first game. But Okuhara fought her way back and levelled the scores at 16-16. Then, again, Sindhu won some crucial points at the end to close out the first game 21-19.
In the second game also, both the players fought valiantly for each point. However, Sindhu was always slightly ahead of Okuhara. She won the second game 21-17 to win her maiden BWF World Tour Finals title. She also became the first Indian player to win this prestigious event.
Sameer Verma's Impressive Show in the Tournament
The other Indian in the tournament, Sameer Verma, also punched above his weight to reach the semifinals. Sameer finished in the second position in Group B, after having two wins and one loss in his three group matches. He lost his first match of the tournament against World Number 1, Kento Momota of Japan. But then, he came back strongly to win his next two matches against Tomy Sugiarto of Indonesia and K Wangcharoen of Thailand, and thus booked his place in the semifinals.
In the semifinal, Sameer Verma had a memorable match against the local star and World Number 2 Shi Yuqi of China. Sameer started off brilliantly and won the first set easily 21-12. In the second set, it was a neck to neck battle between the two. Sameer had a match point when he was 20-19 up. But he was unable to take it and eventually lost the game 22-20.
In the decider, Shi Yuqi showed his class and won it comfortably by 21-17 points. Sameer came close to causing a big upset and reaching the finals, but eventually could not do so. However, he should be very proud of his performance in the tournament.