Monday, January 18, 2021
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Syed Modi International

Sameer Verma retains title, Saina Nehwal loses in final

LUCKNOW, November 25: A gritty Sameer Verma produced a sensational performance to defend his men’s singles title, making up for the failure of his compatriots in the other finals at the USD 150,000 Syed Modi International on Sunday.
World no 16 Sameer defeated China’s Lu Guangzu 16-21, 21-19, 21-14 in a pulsating summit clash to lift the trophy for the second successive time even as Saina Nehwal, men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and women’s doubles combination of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy bite the dust.
Former champion Saina failed to produce her best, losing 18-21, 8-21 to young Chinese Han Yue — a 2017 world junior championship silver medallist — in a lop-sided women’s singles summit clash.
Saina, who won a gold and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games respectively, had ended second best at the Indonesia Masters in January and Denmark Open in October this year.
Earlier, Commonwealth Games silver medallists Satwiksairaj and Chirag also went down 11-21, 20-22 to second seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia to settle for the runners-up prize in the men’s doubles competition.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ashwini and Sikki also couldn’t live up to the expectations, losing 15-21, 13-21 to third seeded Malaysian pair of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean in women’s doubles final. The Indian pair had lost in the finals in the last edition as well.
Sameer then brightened up the dismal day with his never-say-die attitude to claim his third title of the season, following victories at Swiss Open and Hyderabad Open. (PTI)

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