Verma saves two match points to reach final | other | Hindustan Times
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Verma saves two match points to reach final

other Updated: Jan 25, 2012 02:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Sourabh Verma isn’t one who will let go of a shuttle without attempting to retrieve it. The 21-year-old’s game is based on tenacity and never-say-die attitude. But there was a collective sigh of relief among fellow players when he did not attempt to reach HS Prannoy’s drop shot at match point.

Call it a stroke of luck or superb judgment on Verma's part, the shuttle fell a millimetre outside, and that was enough to change the course of the semifinal encounter. Verma, the top seed, went on to save another match point before stepping up the tempo in the decider to win 21-23, 22-20, 21-16 in a 65-minute encounter to reach his maiden senior national men's singles final on Tuesday.

For over 55 minutes, there was not much to choose from between the two Gopichand Academy trainees as they anticipated each other's strokes and played at a furious pace.

Youth Olympics silver-medallist Prannoy took the honours in the first game when he saved two games points before taking the lead. He looked set for an upset victory over the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold event finalist as he gained two match points in the second. However, that’s when patience deserted him as he attempted a sharp drop to finish off the point but ended up losing the plot.

Verma will now face second seed and former junior national champion Sai Praneet in the final. Praneet defeated the experienced Anand Pawar 21-17, 21-15. The women’s final will pit PV Sindhu against second seed Neha Pandit. While Sindhu thrashed defending champion Aditi Mutatkar 21-10, 21-12, Pandit got the better of Sayali Gokhale 21-17, 21-13.