After powering his way through a 75-minute marathon semifinal on Saturday, India’s Sourabh Verma could not hold off Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei in the Syed Modi International Championships final on Sunday.
In front of a capacity crowd of home fans in Lucknow, World No. 36 Verma lost in straight games 15-21, 17-21 to Wang.
The women’s singles final was also decided in straight games, as reigning Olympic Champion Carolina Marin made quick work of Thailand’s Phittayaporn Chaiwan 21-12, 21-16.
Home disappointment for Verma
In the opening game, Verma found himself on the backfoot initially, trailing 1-3, but he soon made up for it, putting his smashes to good use and eking out a 7-4 advantage. However, he lost his edge soon after, as Wang played closer to the net and caught Verma out with some lovely dropshots to take a narrow lead of 11-10 heading into the break.
Post the break, it was the Wang show for the most part, as Verma found himself trailing 13-18 at one point. The Chinese Taipei player left nothing on the table and romped to a 21-15 win.
The second game saw Wang look in ominously similar form as the first, as he shot out to a 5-0 advantage, with Verma having no answer for Wang's powerful smashes. The Indian did claw back some lost ground, as Wang led by three points heading into the interval.
Following the break however, Verma mounted a formidable comeback, equalising the score at 13-apiece before briefly leading 15-14. He could only manage to score two points after that, while Hong took off again and sealed up the game 21-17, and with it, the tournament.
No outfoxing Marin
Reigning Olympic Champion Carolina Marin carried on her aggressive form from Saturday. Although there was no lack of fight from Chaiwan, the 2019 Spanish International winner trailed Marin 6-11 heading into the break of the opening game.
It got worse for Chaiwan following the interval, with three unforced errors allowing Marin to take the first game 21-12.
The second game too saw the score read 11-6 at the interval but this time around, it was Chaiwan with the advantage, as she changed her game up to manoeuvre Marin where she wanted and then placing the shuttlecock in the opposite direction.
However, Marin isn't a three-time World Champion without good reason, as she prevented Chaiwan from scoring a single point until they were both 11-apiece. After that, there was no stopping the Spaniard, who converted her match point at the first chance she got and sealed up the second game and the tournament.
Following victory in the China Open 2019 in September, it was Marin’s second title win since her ligament injury earlier in the year.