While Sindhu won her game by 24-22, 21-15, Sameer Verma lost to World No. 1 Kento Momota at the BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, China on Wednesday.
The start to the BWF Tour Finals for India has been quite a mixed one. India’s ace shuttler PV Sindhu, who had finished runner-up at the last edition in Dubai, dished out a superb game, to defeat the Japanese 24-22, 21-15.
In a game mixed with patience and aggression, the Olympic silver medallist eked out a hard-fought win over world number two and defending champion Akane Yamaguchi.
This was Sindhu’s third successive appearance at the tournament. She already had a 9-4 head-to-head record against Yamaguchi.
PV Sindhu is placed in Group A also has Tai Tzu Ying and Beiwen Zhang.
In another match, India’s Sameer Verma suffered a blowout in the second game at the BWF World Tour Finals.
PV Sindhu vs Akane Yamaguchi: As it happened!
— BWF (@bwfmedia) December 12, 2018
This match was a sheer battle of body and mind but it was Sindhu who reflected better mental fortitude after Yamaguchi sent her forehand return at the net.
The first game clocked 27 minutes as both the shuttlers fought tooth and nail for supremacy. Sindhu was trailing 6-11 at the first internal but she fought back to catch up with the Japanese at 19-19 with a smash on her rival’s backhand.
In the second game, Yamaguchi tried to put pressure on the Indian’s backhand but Sindhu was up to the challenge as she made some superb retrieves to lead 3-1 initially.
Persistent pressure worked as Yamaguchi levelled par and went to a 4-3 lead when Sindhu made a judgement-error and soon moved to 6-3.
Sindhu dominated the proceedings after the break, grabbing a six-point cushion at 18-11. The Japanese saved one before faltering at the net to hand over the match to Sindhu.
After the group matches, the top two players from each group will qualify for the semifinals, after which a knockout draw will be conducted.
Sameer Verma vs Kento Momota: As it happened!
In the match that followed, Sameer Verma provided competition in the first game as the World No 1 Kento Momota took time to get going. As he did, in the second game, it was a simple task to close out the match.
Sameer Verma is the second Indian men’s player after Kidambi Srikanth to qualify for the tournament will now have to beat Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen and Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in the other group B matches to keep the hopes alive for qualifying for the knockout stage.
Notably, only two Indians, Sindhu and Sameer have qualified for the season-ending event.
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