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Sameer reaches maiden finals of Hong Kong Super Series

Press Trust of India  |  Kowloon 

National champion Sameer Verma today progressed to his maiden Super Series final at the Open with a stunning straight-game win over World No. 3 Jan O Jorgensen in the men's singles semifinals, here. The 22-year-old Sameer, who is the younger brother of Sourabh Verma, showed tremendous athleticism and accuracy in his strokes to notch up a hard-fought 21-19 24-22 win over Denmark's Jorgensen, who had clinched the prestigious Super Series last week. Sameer, who came into the tournament as a qualifier, will fight for the title against local favourite Ng Ka Long Angus. More than 40 ranking points separate World No. 43 Sameer from Jorgensen but all that didn't matter today as the Indian retrieved everything thrown at him by the Dane in the 46-minute fast-paced battle. In one of the finest wins of his career, Sameer punched way above his weight as he opened up a massive 12-7 lead early on in the opening game. However, Jorgensen ensured he was not far behind as he clawed back to reduce the margin to 10-11 at the interval. Jorgensen made Sameer run across the court but the young Indian was up for it most times and matched the Dane stroke for stroke to be 17-17. Sameer marched ahead after that and grabbed three game points when the Dane hit the net. A gruelling rally ensued with Jorgensen relying on his wristy returns and soft net play to save two points.

Sameer finally pocketed the first game after winning a video referral when Jorgensen hit long. In the second game, Jorgensen started on an aggressive note, opening up a healthy 11-5 lead at the interval. But a gritty Sameer fought back to draw level at 12-12 and then took a slender 13-12 lead. The experienced Jorgensen soon broke off and eked out a 17-14 lead first and then grabbed a 20-17 lead. Sameer then showed his class as he engaged in some brilliant rallies and pushed the Dane into committing too many unforced errors to help the Indian save three game points and take a 21-20 lead. With pressure mounting, it was all about holding one's nerves and Sameer faltered twice as he hit wide to hand back the lead to Dane. But in the end, the young Indian showed kept his calm to prevail in the 24-minute game after the Dane failed to return a shot at the net. An overwhelmed Sameer sunk down on his knees in celebration.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 26 2016. 18:22 IST