Sourabh Verma advances to semis at Syed Modi International

Verma continues to progress in Lucknow, but Srikanth's tournament is over.

By Jay Lokegaonkar ·

India’s Sourabh Verma made it into the final four of the men’s singles at the Syed Modi International with a 21-19, 21-16 victory over Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn in their quarter final contest in Lucknow on Friday.

Reigning Olympic Champion Carolina Marin also eased into the semifinals with a 21-13, 21-16 victory over Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya.

Sourabh Verma brings cheer for India

In the men’s singles draw, Sourabh Verma emerged victorious in straight games against Kunluvat Vitidsarn and advanced to the semifinal, where he will take on South Korea’s Kwang Hee Heo.

The 26-year-old was impressive in his quarterfinal win, going toe-to-toe and triumphing against the Thai shuttler. While the first game was closely contested (21-19), Verma was much more comfortable in the second, winning it (21-16).

There was disappointment elsewhere in the men’s draw, as third seed Srikanth Kidambi succumbed to an 18-21, 19-21 defeat against South Korea’s Wan Ho Son, ending his run in the tournament at the quarterfinal stage.

Men’s No.3 seed Srikanth Kidambi lost in the quarterfinals

Magical Marin

Fourth seeded Carolina Marin looked sharp from the get-go as she quickly raced to a 5-1 lead in her encouter with Evgeniya Kosetskaya.

She continued to pile the pressure on Kosetskaya and extended her lead to seven, as the Russian struggled to cope with Marin’s speed. The Spaniard was in control of the proceedings and soon after, wrapped up the first game 21-13.

The second game was a more evenly contested battle between the two. The scores were level at 7-7 when a three-point run from Marin gave her some breathing room on the scoreboard. A few points later, Marin yet again scored three unanswered which extended her lead to six, as she closed in on the win.

With the Spaniard just five points away from victory, Kosetskaya embarked on a 7-1 run that cut the deficit to a solitary point and sparked hopes of a comeback. However, Marin responded with four straight points to squash the possibility of that and won the game 21-16 to advance to the semifinal.

This marks a return to form for the Rio 2016 gold medallist after failing to go past the round-of-32 in her previous two tournament appearances.

Carolina Marin advanced to the semifinals at the Syed Modi International Badminton Tournament

Elsewhere in the women’s singles draw, Rituparna Das overcame Shruti Mundada in the quarterfinals in an epic three-game battle. Mundada won a hard-fought first game (26-24), but Das proceeded to win the next two (21-10, 21-19) to book her place in the semifinal against Thailand’s Phittayaporn Chaiwan.

Over in the women’s doubles, the Indian challenge came to a close after the nation’s last two pairs were ousted in the quarterfinals. Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker were beaten (21-7, 21-16) by German duo Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich while Kuhoo Garg and Anoushka Parikh lost to Hong Kong’s Wing Yung Ng and Nga Ting Yeung.

Where to watch the Syed Modi semi finals?

Carolina Marin, Saurabh Verma and Rituparna Das will all be in the semifinal action on Saturday, November 30.

The matches will be telecast live on Star Sports and live-streamed on Hotstar.

Coverage starts on Star Sports 3 at 2 PM IST.