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Sindhu, Verma falter at final hurdle

India’s hopes of winning twin titles in the Hong Kong Open Super Series were dashed when Olympic silver-medallist P V Sindhu and national champion Sameer Verma lost their respective final clashes in contrasting fashion at Kowloon.

Sindhu, Verma falter at final hurdle
India?s P V Sindhu (left) and Chinese Taipei?s Tai Tzu Ying with their silver and gold medals

Sindhu, aiming for her second successive Super Series title, lost 15-21 17-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying in a 41-minute women’s singles clash. Verma, on the other hand, went down 14-21 21-10 11-21 to local favourite Ng Ka Long Angus in a contest which lasted 50 minutes.

It was sweet revenge for Tzu Ying, who had lost to Sindhu most recently in the Rio Olympic Games. She now leads 5-3 in the head-to-head record against the Indian.

World No. 3 and fourth seed Tzu Ying was in command of the match from the first game itself and produced a near-perfect all-round performance to be ahead 18-11. She maintained the lead and grabbed the opening game without much of a trouble. The Indian, on the other hand, was found wanting in her net-play against a swift- moving rival. 

The second game was fought on a more even keel with Sindhu stepping it up slightly but once again she struggled to match the pace and range of Tzu Ying’s stroke-play. In the men’s singles summit clash, Verma continued to show that he had the heart for a fight but that was just not enough against Angus. Verma was slow off the tracks and lost the first game in just 15 minutes.

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