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Sindhu, Verma create a flutter in Hong Kong Open

India’s Olympic medallist takes local girl Ngan in her stride

Image Credit: AFP
India’s PV Sindhu beat local girl Ngan Yi Cheung in straight games to storm into the final of the Hong Kong Open tournament.
Gulf News

Hong Kong: India’s star shuttler P.V. Sindhu defeated local girl Ngan Yi Cheung to storm into the final of the Hong Kong Open tournament here on Saturday. In a match which lasted for 46 minutes, the Olympic silver medallist outplayed Cheung 21-14, 21-16 at Coliseum-1.

World number one Carolina Marin’s season-long superseries drought continued, after the Olympic gold medallist was felled by Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying in their semi-final contest.

The defending Hong Kong Open champion appeared nothing short of unstoppable all week, powering through opponents with whipping overheads and slicing dropshots along with healthy servings of her signature shrieks.

But the tournament top seed failed to maintain a rhythm over the three-game semi-final as frustration mounted while Tai remained cool and resilient during the longer rallies in her 21-17, 14-21, 21-16 win.

“I’m really disappointed with the game today,” said Marin, who won the Olympic gold and European championship this summer but has failed to clinch a superseries title in 2016.

“It’s been a long season and I’ve been very tired.”

Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen’s hopes of securing a second superseries title in a week were crushed as the China Open champion dropped his semi-final match at the Hong Kong Open.

The world number three, who seemed flat after going the distance to win in Fuzhou last Sunday, failed to keep his winning streak alive, losing in straight games, 19-21, 22-24, in a major upset to India’s Sameer Verma.

“My overall game was not good enough. I went all out last week then didn’t practice for two days,” Jorgensen said.

Verma kept the Dane in constant motion and out of sync, chalking up a 7-1 lead early in the first game that Jorgensen struggled to overcome.

“I just played my game, nothing else ... In my mind I was calm,” said Verma, who is ranked 43rd globally.

Underdog Verma employed relentless pressure throughout the match and now advances to his first superseries final appearance.

He will square off with Hong Kong’s Angus Ng in Sunday’s final, pitting the unlikely contender against the hometown favourite.