Lucknow: Sourabh Verma kept alive the Indian challenge at the home event Syed Modi International Super 300 by reaching the men's singles final on Saturday. The only Indian remaining in 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 the game 21-16. Verma, who has won two Super 100 tournaments - Hyderabad Open and Vietnam Open this year - made a comeback in the deciding game to make the final. Verma will face Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei in the final on Sunday, who earlier defeated Korea's Son Wan Ho 21-9, 21-7 in the other semi-final.
Earlier in the women's singles semi-final, India's Rituparna Das went down fighting against Thailand's Phittayaporn Chaiwan. Chaiwan, who registered 24-22, 21-15 victory against Das, will now take on Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain in the final on Sunday. Fourth seed Marin beat Korea's Kim Ga Eun 22-20, 21-16.
Rituparna, who has recovered from an ankle injury, said she was happy to have reached semi-final at Syed Modi and was looking forward to representing Pune 7 Aces in the Premier Badminton League (PBL). "I played my last tournament in January and then suffered ankle injury that kept me out of action till July.
"I played final of Dubai International and now semi-final in this tournament, so I am very happy with my performance. And now I am looking forward to play for my team Pune 7 Aces in PBL season 5," Das said.