Sameer Verma beat China’s Guangzu Lu to retain the title and former three-time winner Saina Nehwal won silver, losing in straight games to young Han Yue of China at the finals of Syed Modi International World Tour Super 300 Sunday.

Commonwealth Games silver medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also went down in straight games against second seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia to settle for the runners-up prize in the men’s doubles competition.

Verma gave India a perfect end to the tournament by winning men’s singles final 16-21, 21-19, 21-14. He came down to win the match in 70 minutes. With the win, he seals his spot in the BWF World Tour Finals.

In a one-sided women’s singles summit clash, Saina, seeded second, losing 18-21 8-21 in a 34-minute final. She had to settle for r runners-up finish and pocket a cheque of USD 5,700.

The silver medalist could not put enough pressure on Han, a 2017 world junior championship during the tournament as she struggled with precision. The youngster had defeated former Olympic champion Li Xuerui in the semifinals.

In the women’s singles final’s first game, Saina recovered from an early 0-2 deficit to lead 6-5. A net error and a weak return by Saina saw Han lead 8-6.

Saina struggled with her accuracy even as Han grew in confidence, reaching 10-6 when the Indian found the net and then hit wide. Another frustrated return from Saina gave Han a 11-6 advantage at the interval.

After the breather, Saina tried to match her younger opponent in the long rallies but Han produced some precise cross court smashes and returns to keep her nose ahead.

Saina paid the price of leaving the shuttle too short as Han punished them, moving to 16-8 at one stage.

Han kept hitting some quality strokes, while Saina struggled. The result was Han jumped to a 20-8 lead when Saina hit long. When the Indian again erred with her length, the Chinese sealed her maiden win.

Saina had ended second best at the Indonesia Masters in January and Denmark Open in October this year.


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