Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 21-17 Sourabh Verma: Wang is a happy man, but Sourabh Verma has a smile on his face as he accepts the cheque for $5700. That will be all from us. Carolina Marin is in action next in the women’s singles final. Stay tuned for the report from the final.
Correction: After *four straight men’s singles titles, Wang breaks the streak at Syed Modi Open.
Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 21-17 Sourabh Verma: Here’s how the 2nd game progressed.
Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 21-17 Sourabh Verma: One must wonder how much the physical battle of the semi-final played a part in Sourabh’s defeat tonight. But it has been a good week for him. Also, India’s winning run in men’s singles at the event in snapped. After *four straight titles, Wang breaks the streak in Lucknow.
Match ends, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 21-17 Sourabh Verma: Wang ends his long wait for a title at this level. Verma makes another error on match point. A tame end but the Indian did show good fight. A warm embrace at the ends and a good round of applause from the crowd for Wang.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 20-17 Sourabh Verma: Three match points for Wang.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 19-17 Sourabh Verma: Oh wow. Another bad miss and this is at such a crucial point. Sourabh nets a push and Wang is ahead 19-17. Game-changing unforced error.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 18-17 Sourabh Verma: Now a wrong challenge from Sourabh after he sends a push long. A bad miss for both the shot and the review. Wang pounces on another short lift and goes ahead 18-16. Sourabh then plays an aggressive rally to win the serve back.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 16-16 Sourabh Verma: A smash is called wide and Wang has no challenges remaining. It is so tight at the moment.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 16-15 Sourabh Verma: And Sourabh is in the lead now! From 9-13 to 15-14. A long rally follows and Wang wins it with a good push to the backcourt. Another quick rally goes in the favour of Wang.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 14-14 Sourabh Verma: And Sourabh’s 5-point run comes to an end as Wang nails another smash. The Indian makes it 14-14 with the help of the net chord. Another fist bump. Can he keep pushing himself and force a decider?
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 13-13 Sourabh Verma: Wow another wrong review from Wang! He’s been pretty poor in that aspect. And what do you know, after Wang’s errors, Sourabh has levelled things up!
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 13-11 Sourabh Verma: Crowd goes ‘India, India’ as Sourabh claws his way back once again! The gap is down to 2 points. Can he keep this up?
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 13-9 Sourabh Verma: Sourabh really needs to stop lifting the shuttle into Wang’s strong zones. He’s getting clobbered by the smashes. This could just end in a hurry.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 11-8 Sourabh Verma: Every time the Indian gets his loft to go a bit short, Wang pounces on it in a flash. Another inside out smash leaves Sourabh stranded and Wang has a 3-point lead at the interval.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 10-8 Sourabh Verma: Wang has been pretty poor with his reviews, it must be said. Tactical challenges perhaps?! Gets another one wrong and Sourabh claws back to 8-10.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 10-6 Sourabh Verma: A lovely spinning shot at the net just as Wang opened up a 4-point lead. But the Taiwanese is just in another zone when it comes to painting the lines with his smashes.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 7-5 Sourabh Verma: There you go, Verma is back in this. More good defense and then the urgency at the net to target Wang’s body: that seems to be the ploy that is working.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 7-3 Sourabh Verma: The touch and heart are there for Sourabh but the lack of a power-game is proving decisive in this match as Wang opens up a handy lead. Sourabh then plays a good drop from the backcourt to leave Wang down on the court. Needs more of that, the Indian.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 5-2 Sourabh Verma: Is that the response that can spur Verma on? A brilliant backhand crosscourt flick to kill a rally and then a body smash to clinch two points. A quiet fist bump and a nod of the head to his coach team Siyadaht and Sameer Verma.
Second game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15, 5-0 Sourabh Verma: The crowd is silenced and that is making sure Wang’s cries are being heard loud and clear. This could get away from the Indian very quickly if he doesn’t find a way back to close the gap early. Superb start for the eighth seed.
First game progression: A game of two halves....
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 21-15 Sourabh Verma: First blood, Wang Tzu Wei! Wang has picked up his levels after a tight start and Sourabh’s game plan of staying in the rallies long enough has not worked so far. The Indian is up against it now and needs to counter the shot-making skills of Wang.
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 20-15 Sourabh Verma: Wang’s shot-making is at level higher than Verma’s at the moment. He is moving the Indian all over the court and has the shots in the arsenal to finish off points. A superb rally at 15-19 is won by Wang showing great defensive skills and he has five game points.
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 18-14 Sourabh Verma: Both players ready to engage in long rallies but the problem is Wang has the better kill-shot. The Indian is unable to put together a string of points. Another wrong challenge from Wang, and Verma has the serve back. Can he close the gap further?
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 17-12 Sourabh Verma: The crowd has been silenced and that’s a the definitive indication that Wang has moved up a gear. He opens up a five-point lead.
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 14-11 Sourabh Verma: A brilliant deceptive drop from Wang at the end of a long rally and he takes a 2-point lead again. AT 13-11. Another error from Sourabh this time at the net. A bit too lax with his spinning drop shot, goes wide. Wang pulling away now.
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 11-10 Sourabh Verma: Narrowest of leads for Wang at the mid-game interval. Sourabh gets some words of encouragement from his brother and defending champ Sameer.
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 10-10 Sourabh Verma: Four points on the trot forWang and he has a 10-8 lead. Verma bounces back with a couple more points on the trot to make it 10-10 as Wang loses a challenge. It’s all too tight at the moment!
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 8-8 Sourabh Verma: That’s a lovely rally and a brilliant point for Sourabh! Wang was controlling the proceedings for the most part and must have thought he had the point with a smash but Sourabh sends it back with a backhand block and Wang nets the return. But the Indian makes a couple of errors after that and we are all level...
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 4-7 Sourabh Verma: Good aggression from Sourabh! Sameer Verma is looking on from the coaching seat as his elder brother plays a wonderful rally and finishes it off with a couple of smashes to go up 7-4.
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 4-5 Sourabh Verma: There are couple of errors from Wang now and the Indian has a 4-3 lead. Good judgement to leave the shuttle alone at the baseline. Sourabh’s strength, as he showed in the semi-final, is to build on his strong defence. HE has started well here, winning another long rally.
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 2-2 Sourabh Verma: Another long rally, this one ends with Wang netting a backhand. 32 shots, this one! And then Sourabh gives the serve back with an error. Too easy.
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 2-0 Sourabh Verma: A 34-shot rally early doors. The second point of the match gives and indication that this could be a long one. Wang has a 2-0 lead.
First game, Wang Tzu Wei 0-0 Sourabh Verma: And we are underway...
4.12 pm: Sourabh Verma will have plenty of support in Lucknow. We are all set for the final.
4.10 pm: Wang has dropped just one game so far in the tournament, which was against HS Prannoy. Sourabh dropped one game, which was in the semi-final. Will that bruising battle have any impact on Sourabh?
4.07 pm: Continuing an impressive show in Lucknow, Verma is the only Indian remained in the contention for the title. Verma registered a hard-fought 21-17, 16-21, 21-18 win against his Korean opponent Heo Kwang Hee in the semi-final.
After winning the first game comfortably within just 20 minutes, the 26-year-old saw tough competition from Kwang Hee in the next as the Indian went on to lose it 21-16. Verma, who has won two Super 100 tournaments—Hyderabad Open and Vietnam Open—this year, made a comeback in the match deciding game which saw him making his way into the final showdown. Verma will face Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei in the final on Sunday. Tzu Wei thrashed Korea’s Son Wan Ho 21-9, 21-7 in another semi-final match.
4.05 pm: It’s unseeded Sourabh Verma (#36) vs eighth seed Wang Tzu Wei (#22) in the final. The players have a 1-1 head-to-head but their two meetings have been 5 years apart.
3.55 pm: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Syed Modi International badminton tournament.
India’s Sourabh Verma entered the men’s singles final with a thrilling semi-final win in Lucknow on Saturday. He beat world No 44 Heo Kwang Hee 21-17, 16-21, 21-18 in a 75-minute encounter.
With the win, Verma ensured there will be Indian interest on the finals day in Lucknow as he is the only host shuttler to enter a title clash.
Verma will take on eighth seed Wang Tzu Wei in the final on Sunday. The Taiwanese had dispatched former World No 1 Son Wan Ho in straight games earlier. Verma has a 1-1 head-to-head record against Wang who is ranked 22nd in the world.
Sourabh will look to make it a hat-trick for the Vermas, as his younger brother Sameer Verma won the last two editions.
For details of the semi-final win, head over here.