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Syed Modi Open Badminton: Sameer Verma Beats Lu Guang Zu to Defend Title, Saina Nehwal loses in Final

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Even as the other Indians, Saina Nehwal and doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost their finals, Sameer Verma held strong to make a heroic comeback and retain his Syed Modi Open badminton title.
Sameer Verma celebrates after beating Lu Guang Zu of China

Sameer Verma celebrates after beating Lu Guang Zu of China in the final of the Syed Modi Open International badminton tournament in Lucknow (Pic: Twitter, BWF).

Sameer Verma beat China's Lu Guang Zu to retain his Syed Modi International Super 300 badminton title in Lucknow on November 25. In the thrilling final, Sameer, seeded third, got the better of Zu after a 70-minute long marathon match, winning 16-21, 21-19, 21-14.

With this win, the 25-year-old Verma also booked a spot in the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals to be held in Guangzhou.

The day, however, ended on a sour note for the other Indians who reached the final of the tournament. Former champion Saina Nehwal lost in straight games to Han Yue of China in the women’s singles summit clash earlier in the day. Saina lost 18-21, 8-21.

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More disappointment followed as Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down in straight games to second seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia in the men's doubles competition.

Verma, however, was in no mood to relinquish his title easily. He took an 8-4 lead early in the opening game only for Zu to make a comeback and take the game 21-16.

In a closely fought second game, Sameer managed a 11-8 lead into the mid-game break. The Chinese shuttler saved a game point at 18-20 but Sameer converted the second time to win it 21-19.

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The Indian maintained his good run in the third game, taking a 7-3 lead, before Zu fought back once again to level the score at 7-7. The Chinese ace then stretched his lead to 10-7. The momentum then shifted the other way as Verma also made some fine moves to take a 11-10 lead.

After this, Verma took a four-point lead (16-12)and went on to clinch the match 21-14.

(With inputs from IANS)

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