Younger sibling Sameer Verma emerged victorious in the battle of brothers to clinch the USD 15,000 Tata Open India International Challenge 2015 held at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai on Sunday. The third-seeded Sameer, who was left the highest seed in the draw after the withdrawal of Sai Praneeth and RMV Gurusaidutt, justified his top billing as he came up with an inspired performance to defeat the 2013 champion 21-11, 21-18 in just 26 minutes.
The 21-year-old Sameer is ranked 52nd currently while Sourabh is returning from a knee injury and is placed at a lowly 244th. To add to that, Sameer won two titles and reached a final in the last six weeks.
The gulf in the rankings and the difference in form showed as Sameer was at his aggressive best and hardly had any trouble in the opening game.
He went on a run of seven consecutive points to jump to 9-4 and then had another confidence-boosting six-point burst to lead 19-8. The younger sibling quickly wrapped up the first game 21-11.
The second game was slightly more competitive but that was more because Sameer sprayed a few unforced errors. From 3-9 down, Sourabh evened the score at 12-12 and then the older brother even had a slim lead of 16-13.
But his joy was short-lived as Sameer rebounded in style. He levelled first at 16-16 and then at 18-18 and from there he broke away to pocket the next three points en route to the title.
Indian winners in mixed doubles
Indians grabbed another title at the Tata Open as the mixed doubles final saw an all-Indian showdown between the second seeds Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan and the unseeded pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/K Maneesha. It was, however, the unheralded duo of Rankireddy/Maneesha who upset the heavy favourites Vishnu/Balan 21-13, 21-16 in 35 minutes.
Indian shuttlers failed to add any more title as they went down fighting in the men’s doubles and women’s doubles finals. In men’s doubles, the second seeds Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar succumbed to a 14-21, 9-21 defeat to the third-seeded Thai pair of Wannawat Ampunsuwan/ Tinn Isriyanate.
In women’s doubles, K Maneesha and N Sikki Reddy lost 11-21, 21-15, 13-21 to the top seeds Chaladchalam Chayanit/ Phataimas Muenwong of Thailand.
Thailand had a field day at the Tata Open as they scooped up the women’s singles title as well. Second-seeded Pornpawee Chochuwong, all of just 17 years of age, stunned the top seed and much more experienced Jing Yi Tee of Malaysia, 16-21, 21-11, 21-15 to emerge the champion.Published 15 Dec 2015, 09:58 IST