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Hyderabad Open 2018: Sameer Verma, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty win titles

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320   //    10 Sep 2018, 02:47 IST

Blibli Indonesia Open - Day 1
Sameer Verma

The Indian contingent finished the Hyderabad Open 2018 with a haul of two titles as Sameer Verma and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty emerged victorious in men’s singles and men’s doubles categories respectively on Sunday. However, it didn’t turn out to be a flawless day for India at this Super 100 tournament as the mixed doubles combine of Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra went down fighting in the final.

The top seeded Verma overcame a slow start against World No. 91 Joo Ven Soong of Malaysia, placed 70 ranking spots below him. Verma had beaten the Malaysian in both their previous meetings, but on Sunday, it was Soong who had the control of the proceedings in the early stages.

Playing purely aggressive strokes, Soong raced out to an 11-7 lead at the time of the mid-game interval in the first game. Verma took his time to claw his way back into the match, levelling the opener at 15-15, and then wrested away the momentum from his opponent to bag the first game 21-15.

The World No. 21 built a 5-3 lead in the second game only to see the determined Soong coming back to make it 10-10. Verma then started taking the shuttle early to rob his opponent of precious time. The strategy worked as did Verma’s relentless attacks from the forecourt. In a close finish, Verma was able to stave off the challenge from Soong to register a 21-15, 21-18 win.

This is Verma’s second title of the season, having triumphed at the Swiss Open in February.

In men’s doubles too, seedings prevailed as Rankireddy and Shetty won their first BWF Super 100 title -- their first international title in 18 months. The India No. 1 pair spent just 26 minutes on the court to get the better of the third seeds Akbar Bintang Cahyono and Moh Reza Pahlevi Isfahani 21-16, 21-14.

In mixed doubles, Chopra and Reddy let go of a huge 19-13 lead in the decider and a couple of match points as well to slump to a 21-15, 19-21, 23-25 loss to sixth seeds Cahyono and Winny Oktavina Kandow.

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