Korea Open: PV Sindhu reaches semi-finals, Sameer Verma goes down fighting
Indian shuttle queen PV Sindhu continues her impeccable form as she made it to the semi-finals of the Victor Korea Open Super Series in Seoul on Friday. But curtains came on the campaigns of the rest of the Indians at this tournament as both Sameer Verma and the men’s doubles team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down fighting in three games in the quarter-finals.
For the fifth-seeded Sindhu too, it was not easy as she was stretched to the decider by the 19th-ranked Minatsu Mitani of Japan. Just like her second-round match, the World Championships silver medallist managed to raise her level when it mattered the most and grabbed a 21-19, 16-21, 21-10 win after a marathon 1 hour-3 minute battle.
For the India No. 1, the sixth-seeded He Bingjiao waits next. The young Chinese broke the hearts of the crowd as she ousted the third-seeded Sung Ji Hyun, 21-19, 16-21, 21-19 in another gruelling quarter-final that lasted 1 hour 17 minutes.
Bingjiao has a winning head-to-head record over Sindhu
It is expected to be yet another tough battle for the World No. 4 as Bingjiao has been traditionally one opponent Sindhu has struggled against throughout her career. The Chinese leads their head-to-head record 5-3 and edged the Indian in a marathon at the Badminton Asia Championships this year.
In men’s singles, Sameer Verma had a promising start to his blockbuster clash with the top seed and World No. 1 Son Wan Ho only to succumb to a 22-20, 10-21, 13-21 defeat in 1 hour and 9 minutes.
Verma has been showing sparks of his brilliance at this tournament and ousted the eighth seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in the first round. He carried that confidence into his quarter-final encounter with the Korean top seed. Unfortunately for the Indian, Son managed to keep the Syed Modi International champion on the backfoot in the last two games.
The young pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty caused a huge upset on Thursday by beating the World No. 9 pair of Lee Jhe-Huei and Lee Yang. Touted as one of the fastest rising pairs, they showed a lot of maturity before losing 14-21, 21-17, 15-21 to the Japanese third seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda.