Sameer Verma in Swiss Open semis, Parupalli Kashyap too shines in Vienna

February 24, 2018



Indian shuttler Sameer Verma advanced to the semifinals of the USD 150,000 Swiss Open after defeating former world no 2 Japan’s Kento Momota here.

Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold champion Sameer notched up a 21-17 21-16 win in the men’s singles quarterfinals to break Momota’s unbeaten streak since returning to action in August last year.

The 23-year-old from Japan was banned by Nippon Badminton Association in 2016 for visiting a casino.

Sameer, who had reached the finals of 2016 Hong Kong Super Series, will face Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen next in the Super 300 badminton tournament.

Momota, who won the 2015 Jakarta World Championship bronze medallist, had lost to compatriot Kanta Tsuneyama in the finals of 2017 Canada Open — his only loss since coming back in July last year. He won two Grand Prix and three international challenge titles last year.

However, Sameer showed his mettle in the 44-minute battle against Momota as he erased 3-5 and 14-16 deficits to pocket the opening game and kept breathing down his rival’s neck after lagging 4-9 at one stage in the second game to eventually seal the contest comfortably.

Upcoming men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Shlok Ramchandran, however, suffered a 13-21 18-21 loss against Thailand’s Maneepong Jongjit and Nanthakarn Yordphaisong to bow out.

At Vienna, Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap continued his fine run as he defeated seventh seed Victor Svendsen of Denmark 21-17, 21-19 to reach the final in the Austrian Open International Challenge.

The London Olympics quarterfinalist will now face fifth seed Raul Must of Estonia.

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