Sourabh Verma kept the light of hope shining for the Indians contingent, as he stormed into the finals of the Syed Modi International Badminton 2019 with an emphatic performance against Heo Kwang Hee. On the women's front, Rituparna Das, despite giving it her all against her Thai opponent Phittayaporn Chaiwan, succumbed to a disappointing loss which ended the hopes of a gold or silver medal in the women's singles.
The true highlight of the day was definitely the Madhya Pradesh boy, Sourabh Verma. Enjoying a series of wins, Verma is riding the wave of success and put in a gritty performance against Korea's Heo Kwang Hee. Having won the Super 100 tournaments at Hyderabad at Vietnam, Verma displayed an incredibly focused outlook in the semifinals. The match turned out to be an intense one, stretching to 1 hour 15 minutes.
Verma took charge of the first game and pocketed it 21-17. However, the 44th-ranked player from Korea mildly troubled Verma in the second and snatched the game 16-21, which pushed the match into a tense deciding third game.
Fighting tooth and nail, it was the 26-year-old from Dhar who emerged as the better player of the two. The World No.39 player has made it to the finals on Sunday and will clash with the eighth-seeded Taiwanese player Wang Tzu-Wei in the gold medal match.
23-year-old Rituparna Das, playing at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoors Stadium in Lucknow, desperately gave it her all against her domineering Thai opponent, Phittayaporn Chaiwan. In a tight 39-minute women's singles semi-final, Rituparna Das suffered a hapless 22- 24, 15-21 loss. The former National Champion and two-time Polish Open winner did try her best, but Chaiwan was relentless and crushed the hopes of Das for making it to the finals.
All hopes are now resting on Sourabh Verma, as the 26-year-old will take on his Taiwanese opponent who ousted former World No. 1 Son Wan-Ho in his semi-final match. The finals promise to be exciting given how Verma is in red-hot form and is hungry for a tournament win.