Syed Modi Open 2018: Sameer Verma Defends Title, Saina Nehwal Lose in Summit Clash
Sameer Verma and Saina Nehwal (Photo Credits: IANS)

Lucknow, Nov 25: Ace Indian shuttler Sameer Verma defended his Syed Modi International Super 300 tournament title while it was heartbreak for Saina Nehwal after suffering straight game defeats on Sunday. While Sameer defeated China's Lu Guang Zu from China in the men's singles final, Saina lost to young Han Yue of China in a one-sided women's singles summit clash. Saina lost 18-21 8-21 in the 34-minute final contest. On the other hand, third seed Sameer defeated his Chinese opponent 16-21, 21-19, 21-14 in a 70 minute-long thriller.

With this win, Sameer also booked his spot in the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals, slated to be held in Guangzhou. In 2017, Sameer, 25, had outclassed compatriot B Sai Praneeth in the summit clash to earn the title. The 25-year-old started the contest on a good note, taking an early 8-4 lead in the opening game, however, Guang Zu made a comeback to take an 18-12 lead before taking the game 21-16 in his favour.

In a closely fought second game, Sameer managed an 11-8 lead into the mid-game break. The Chinese shuttler saved a game point at 18-20 but Sameer converted in the second time to win it 21-19. Sameer maintained his good run in the third game, taking a 7-3 lead before the Chinese fought back once again to level the score at 7-7. Guang Zu then stretched his lead to 10-7.

The momentum then shifted the other way as the Indian also made some fine moves to take an 11-10 lead. After this, Sameer took a four-point lead as the score read 16-12 in his favour and went on to clinch the issue 21-14.

Meanwhile, in the men's doubles final, Indian pair comprising Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also went down in straight games against Indonesia's Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto. The Indian pair was handed an 11-21, 20-22 defeat in the 38-minute contest and had to settle for the runners-up prize in the men's doubles affair.