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Syed Modi International 2018: Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma enter final

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 20:01 IST

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal

Former champions Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma had to work hard to secure their places in the final of the $150,000 Syed Modi International Badminton Championships 2018 on Saturday. Three-time winner Nehwal started slow against Indonesia’s World No. 62 Ruselli Hartawan but gained in confidence as the match wore on to register a 12-21, 21-7, 21-6 win in 46 minutes.

The second seed will take on the fourth seed and World No. 27 Han Yue in the summit clash on Sunday. The Commonwealth Games gold medallist won this Super 300 tournament in 2009, 2014 and 2015 and is seeking her first BWF title of the season.

Yue prevented the much-anticipated final showdown between Nehwal and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui by sending out the former World No. 1 with a 21-15, 19-21, 21-9 win.

Defending men’s singles champion Sameer Verma suffered a mid-match lapse but recovered in time to grab a 21-13, 17-21, 21-8 win over Indonesia’s World No. 100 Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo. The 24-year-old Indian led till 8-3 and then extended his lead to 14-12 only to see an inspired Wardoyo coming back to snatch the second game after levelling the score at 16-16.

Verma did not let it linger in his mind and quickly regrouped in the decider to build an 11-3 advantage at the time of the mid-game interval. It was a matter of a few minutes before Verma marched into the final. He is now just one win away from qualifying for the BWF World Tour Finals for the first time in his career.

Indians shine in doubles

Indians excelled in doubles too with them winning two of the three semi-finals. Fourth seeds Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, who are the defending runners-up, made short work of the fifth seeds Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Davletova 21-18, 21-16. Up next for them are the third seeds Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean of Malaysia.

After going down four times in close battles, India No. 1 men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty exacted revenge over the former World No. 1 Danish combine of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen 22-20, 25-23 in 48 minutes.

The Indian eighth seeds will meet the second seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in the final.

Rankireddy and Ponnappa went down narrowly in the mixed doubles semi-finals, though. The sixth seeds fought back from a game down but could not keep it going in the decider as they lost 12-21, 21-18, 19-21 to the unseeded Chinese pair of Ou Xuanyi and Feng Xueying.

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Follow Sportskeeda for daily updates on Syed Modi International Championship 2019, Schedule, Results and Live scores.

Published 25 Nov 2018, 00:14 IST
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