Saturday brought double delight for India as PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma booked their berths for Sunday’s final at the Hong Kong Open Super Series. While PV Sindhu defeated Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan-yi 21-14, 21-16, Sameer Verma upset World No. 3 Jan O Jorgensen 21-19, 24-22. (MATCH HIGHLIGHTS)
PV Sindhu, who returned into the top 10 on Friday, started out favourite against her 26th-ranked opponent whom she led 2-0 in head-to-head. Both players exchanged serve in the opening game, before the Rio Olympic silver-medallist came into her own and finished off the opener with five straight points.
The second game saw Ngan-yi show the same tenacity which helped her beat Saina Nehwal in a marathon quarterfinal on Friday. The 5’5” Ngan-Yi dug down deep and caused the lanky Sindhu some problems.
The Hong Kong player would race to the net and clear it to keep Sindhu at bay. But despite the strategy, Sindhu went into the mid-game interval with a slender 11-10 lead and came out blasting smashes. Ngan-Yi tried to hang on with aggressive bodyline play but Sindhu brought out some soft cross-court drops to open up a lead and take the match.
The 21-year-old now take on Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying, who ousted world No. 1 Carolina Marin in the first semifinal.
Earlier, Verma stunned Jorgensen in his maiden Super Series semifinal.
The fact that Jorgensen defeated Chinese world No 1 Chen Long in the China Open final last week didn’t seem to deter the 22-year-old Indian. Nor the fact that the Dane was six years older, six inches taller and ranked 40 places above him.
Verma raced off to a 7-2 lead, and although Jorgensen fought back with scores level at 14-all and 16-all, Verma converted a third game point. Jorgensen led 7-1 in the second game, but Verma narrowed it to 8-5. Still, Jorgensen held three game points, but Verma saved them before completing an emotional win. Verma, only the third Indian man to reach a Super Series final, will take on local favourite NG Ka Long Angus in the title clash.