Sameer Verma failed to win his maiden Super Series title as he lost 14-21, 21-10, 11-21 to local favourite NG Ka Long in the Hong Kong Open Super Series final. The India however could take a lot of heart from not only his performance on Sunday but throughout the tournament.
Earlier, PV Sindhu lost to Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying 15-21, 17-21 in the women’s final.
14:33hrs IST: Ka Long has done it. Defeats India’s Sameer Verma 21-14, 10-21, 21-11 to become the first Hong Kong man to win the event.
14:32hrs IST: Nine match points for Ka Long.
14:31hrs IST: Ka Long two points away now. 19-11.
14:30hrs IST: An exchange of serves. Verma trails 11-17.
14:29hrs IST: Ka Long misjudges the backhand from Verma, which catches the line. 10-16.
14:29hrs IST: Two points for Verma. Trails 9-16.
14:28hrs IST: Another exchange of serves. 8-16.
14:27hrs IST: Finally the streak ends with Ka Long hitting a backhand into the net. Verma needs to make the service count. 7-15.
14:26hrs IST: A bad return from Verma. He needs to regain the composure now. Trails 6-14.
14:24hrs IST: Superb rally. Good defence and retrieving from both players. Ka Long takes the point to extend the lead to 13-6.
14:23hrs IST: Exchange of serves means Ka Long retains the 7-point lead.
14:21hrs IST: Two errors at the net from Verma. Ka Long engaging with more drops. Verma hits another long to go into the mid-game break trailing 4-11.
14:20hrs IST: Three straight points from Ka Long, before Verma gets the service back. The Indian trails 4-7.
14:18hrs IST: Verma gets two points back, but loses the serve after a long rally. Ka Long leads 5-3.
14:16hrs IST: Ka Long is back with vengeance. Opens up a 4-1 lead in the decider.
14:13hrs IST: TEN game points for Verma. He needs just one as Ka Long hits it wide. Verma wins second game 21-10 to level the match.
14:11hrs IST: And just like that, Verma is two points away from taking the game. 19-10.
14:09hrs IST: A rarity. Verma errs on the smash. Ka Long obliges by hitting it long. Verma is up 16-7.
14:07hrs IST: Solid restart from Verma. He leads 13-6.
14:06hrs IST: The Indian wins a point with another smash to go into the break leading 11-5.
14:04hrs IST: Verma’s looking good now. Up 10-4. Should consolidate this lead now.
14:03hrs IST: Angled drop, and sixth straight point for Verma. 7-2.
14:02hrs IST: Verma has takent he lead for the first time in the match. He consolidates it with two more points. Verma leads 6-2..
13:58hrs IST: Leaping smash gets Verma a point. Another goes wide. Ka Long leads 2-1.
13:57hrs IST: Six game points from Ka Long now. He converts the first with a crosscourt backhand. Ka Long has taken the first game 21-14. But Verma did well after that early onslaught.
13:56hrs IST: Wayward backhand from Verma after two good points. Ka Long leads 18-14.
13:55hrs IST: And now four straight points from Ka Long. 17-12.
13:53hrs IST: Jump smashes from Ka Long. He has taken the lead to 16-12.
13:52hrs IST: Four straight points from Verma, who has cut down Ka Long’s lead to one point. He trails 12-13.
13:50hrs IST: Ka Long can’s sustain this high pace with precision throughout the game. Verma needs to be patient and hang on.
13:49hrs IST: Verma comes out of the break with a smash. Picks up another point to make it 7-11.
13:46hrs IST: Some resistance from Verma, but an inspired Ka Long goes into the mid-game interval 11-5.
13:45hrs IST: Verma puts an end to a 6-point streak from Ka Long with a smash. Trails 2-7.
13:42hrs IST: Ka Long has raced to a 6-1 lead in the opening game.
13:39hrs IST: Announcers introduce Sameer Verma as hailing from Indonesia. Good homework.
13:38hrs IST: Sameer Verma came through the main draw only after Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie withdrew. It’s all about grabbing opportunities of course.
13:35hrs IST: Prakash Padukone is the only Indian to win the Hong Kong Open men’s singles title, at the inaugural event in 1982. As for the home fans, NG Ka Long Angus is the first man from Hong Kong to reach the final here
13:30hrs IST: Sameer Verma will take the court shortly for the Hong Kong Open men’s singles final.
India’s Sameer Verma will look to win his frst Super Series title when he takes on local favourite NG Ka Long Angus in the Hong Kong Open final. Catch the live scores and updates of the Hong Kong Open final between Sameer Verma and NG Ka Long Angus here.
World No 43 Verma leads his 14th-ranked opponent 2-0 in head to head. However, the two meetings were in the junior championships.
Qualifier Verma Verma stunned world No. 3 Jan O Jorgensen in Saturday’s semifinal. Long Angus bested compatriot Hu Yun 21-19 21-7
Earlier in the women’s final, India’s PV Sindhu lost 15-21, 17-21 to world No. 3 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan. Catch highlights of that match here.