New Delhi, March 25: Young Indian shuttler Sameer Verma surprised everyone by taking out the fifth seed as other top players sailed smoothly into the second round of the $275,000 Yonex Sunrise India Open Superseries at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here on Wednesday.
The day belonged to qualifier Sameer Verma, who defeated Danish Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 21-15 21-17. The former junior tiol champion said he was nervous as he knew Vittinghus liked to play rallies. “I started attacking straightaway which helped me gain points,” he said.
Sameer was lagging behind in the first game but did well to catch up and level at 14-all. He then completely domited the game and raced ahead to seal the game by conceding just one point.
Sameer had the upper-hand in the second game and Vittinghus simply couldn’t catch up. He will take on his friend R.M.V. Gurusaidutt in the men’s singles second round on Thursday. Both train at the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad.
A sizeable crowd turned up to watch two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan and India’s Sai Nehwal play, and they were not disappointed.
Lin Dan comfortably won against Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei in a match that lasted 32 minutes. Some crafty strokes were enough for Lin to take a good lead against his opponent.
“I did my best in the second game. My younger opponent also did his job well. I will do my best in every match and hope that I can satisfy my fans with my game,” Lin said.
Women’s singles top seed Sai barely broke a sweat while playing 16-year-old qualifier Riya Mukherjee. The Hyderabadi was happy that she was able to wrap up the match quickly with a 21-5, 21-13 win, though she lauded Riya’s effort in the second game where she gave some tough fight.
Meanwhile, other top seeds Jan O Jorgensen, Caroli Marin, Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap and Viktor Axelsen won their matches, though men’s singles fourth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei was not that lucky.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Gurusaidutt, who fought his way through the qualifiers on Tuesday, pulled off a stunning 21-14, 17-21, 23-21 victory against South Korea’s Lee Dong Keun to advance to the second round.
“I am quite happy that I was able to balance my attack-defence shots well. Though I attacked initially, I started trailing towards the end of second game. I could see Dong rushing into it later, so I decided to play defensively,” Guru said.
He was happy that he is doing well after his long absence due to injuries.
“I have been battling many injuries for a long time and this victory is what I needed. I have gotten over the fear of losing. I have trained hard for a comeback and have been supported by my coach and parents since the day of the injury.”
India’s top women’s doubles pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponppa crashed out of the tourment. (IANS)