Last Saturday, PV Sindhu didn’t have a Super Series trophy in her cabinet. Tomorrow she could win her second. A dominant display from the Indian against the local girl Cheung Ngan-yi set up a Hong Kong Open title clash with Tai Tzu Ying. To make it even better, unseeded, unheralded Sameer Verma stunned World No. 3 Jan O Jorgensen to make his first Super Series final. He will take on Hong Kong’s NG Ka Long Angus.
18:44hrs IST: PV Sindhu faces Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying in Sunday’s final.
18:42hrs IST: Sindhu earns five match points. Yi saves one before Sindhu completes the 21-14, 21-16 win.
18:38hrs IST: Close call. Yi reviews. Sindhu has caught the back line and is now two points away from the finals berth.
18:36hrs IST: Miss. Sindhu fails to get a drop over. Yi looks to hang on. The Indian leads 18-15.
18:34hrs IST: Both Sindhu and Yi were engaged in three-game battles on Friday. Fitness is going to play a significant role today.
18:33hrs IST: Aggression from Yi. Two smashes cut down Sindhu’s lead to 15-13.
18:29hrs IST: Close call, but Sindhu seems to have caught the back line. No challenge from Yi as the Indian opens up a 3-point gap. 14-11.
18:27hrs IST: 10-10, and Sindhu takes the lead with a smash (of course). Mid-game interval with the Indian leading 11-10.
18:26hrs IST: Drop from Yi. Sindhu reaches, but can’t get it back over. Yi has closed the lead to 9-10.
18:24hrs IST: Sindhu rakes up three straight points, the last with another backhand crosscourt. 10-7.
18:22hrs IST: Yi seems to have caught a second wind. Smashes, drops help her level the score 7-7.
18:21hrs IST: Yi wins back the serve with a smash of her own. Sindhu gets it back before the Yi takes it again with a well-disguised angled drop. Sindhu leads 7-3.
18:19hrs IST: Sindhu’s dictating the pace now. Moving through the points quickly. The Indian’s up 6-2.
18:18hrs IST: Bodyline smashes from Yi and Sindhu manages to not just return but close the point with a charging smash. Yi stands, smiling helplessly. Sindhu up 5-2.
18:15hrs IST: Brilliant backhand crosscourt flick from Sindhu. The Indian’s up 3-1 in the second game and looking confident.
18:14hrs IST: PV Sindhu rallies away with five straight points to take the first game 21-14 in 18 minutes.
18:12hrs IST: Yi tries some cheeky netplay. Sindhu bests her with a soft drop. The Indian is running away with the game. Game point. 20-14.
18:10hrs IST: Deep serve from Yi. Smashed from Sindhu and Yi goes down again. Sindhu should close this game out now. 17-14.
18:09hrs IST: Yi gets the serve. Tries to play from the back and hits it long. Sindhu leads 16-12.
18:08hrs IST: A cross-court drop. Sindhu’s coming into her own. 14-11.
18:07hrs IST: Well, it worked that time alright. A fierce smash sends Yi down to her knees. Sindhu opens up a 2-point gap again. 13-11.
18:06hrs IST: Another error. The smash hasn’t worked for Sindhu today. She’s still in lead. 12-11.
17:58hrs IST: Erratic play from both. Sindhu opens up a 10-8 lead and gives away the serve. Yi hits it wide as the Indian goes into the mid-game interval leading 11-9.
17:56hrs IST: Yi’s quick hands are causing trouble for Sindhu. Sloppy play from the Indian has given a 5-3 lead to the local player.
17:54hrs IST: Sindhu goes up 2-0 before three consecutive net errors give away the lead.
17:53hrs IST: Sindhu has two victories over Ngan Yi. Two hard-earned victories.
17:52hrs IST: ICYMI, World No. 1 Carolina Marin lost to Tai Tzu Ying in the first semifinal earlier to dash all hopes of a potential Olympic final rematch.
17:50hrs IST: Here’s hoping it’s a double delight Saturday for India. PV Sindhu takes on Cheung Ngan-yi next.
17:47hrs IST: That. Was. Intense. Unseeded Sameer Verma has knocked out World No. 3 Jan O Jorgensen 21-19, 24-22 to reach the Hong Kong Open final.
17:43hrs IST: Game point. Saved. Match point. Saved. Game point, saved. What a game!
17:40hrs IST: And the third! What a point. Wins another to earn a match point.
17:39hrs IST: Verma has saved two!
17:36hrs IST: Verma’s angled drop goes wide as Jorgensen earns three game points.
17:34hrs IST: Erratic from Verma. Goes for a smash down the line, hits it wide. Jorgensen opens up a three-point lead. Verma trails 14-17.
17:33hrs IST: He takes the lead! Albeit for a single point. Jorgensen wins two to take the lead 16-14.
17:30hrs IST: And we are back level. Verma is showing no nerves at all. 12-12.
17:29hrs IST: A crucial miss from Verma. Ends a streak of four points. Jorgensen leads 12-9.
17:28hrs IST: Jorgensen has responded well. Goes into the mid-game interval leading 11-5.
17:25hrs IST: And four straight points for Verma now. Records and achievements are of academic use now. This is a close contest. Jorgensen leads 8-5.
17:24hrs IST: Right on cue. Jorgensen races away to a 7-1 lead in the second game.
17:21hrs IST: “Bharat mata ki jai” rings around the Hong Kong Coliseum. Well begun, but half done from Sameer Verma. Expect the World No. 3 Jorgensen to come back stronger.
17:17hrs IST: Three game points, two wasted. Sameer Verma converts the third to take the first game 21-19. Upset alert.
17:13hrs IST: Jan O Jorgensen is 6 years older, 6 inches taller and ranked 40 places higher than Sameer Verma. The Dane is level with the Indian at 16-16.
17:10hrs IST: Sameer Verma is neck and neck with Jan O Jorgensen in the men’s semifinal. 14-14. PV Sindhu’s match to follow.
PV Sindhu is playing her second straight Badminton World Federation super series semifinal today. The Rio Olympics silver medallist will face local girl Yi Cheung Ngan in a last-four clash of the Hong Kong Open today. Catch badminton live score and updates here.
Having won the China Open last week, her first super series title in her international career, PV Sindhu will start as the favourite against Yi. Sindhu has just broken into the world top 10 and the world No. 9 has a 2-0 win-loss record against Yi, who is ranked 26 in the latest BWF rankings.
PV Sindhu has been stretched to three games both times she has placed Hong Kong’s Yi. Her wins came in the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2013 and badminton Asia Championships in 2014.
Both Yi and PV Sindhu had tough passages into the semis in Hong Kong Open. While Yi got the better of Saina Nehwal 21-8, 18-21, 21-19, Sindhu scored a come-from-behind quarterfinal 21-17, 21-23, 21-18 win against Singapore’s Liang Xiaoyu on Friday.
Earlier, world No. 1 Carolina Marin lost 17-21, 21-14, 16-21 to Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying in the Hong Kong Open semifinal on Saturday. It was Marin’s second loss to Tai in two weeks, after the Spaniard lost last week’s quarterfinal match-up at the China Open. Marin’s defeat dashed out any hopes of a Rio Olympic final rematch with PV Sindhu.