Sameer Verma

Sameer Verma   -  Vivek Bendre

The most unlikely hero of Indian badminton in 2018 was Sameer Verma.

Starting the year at World No. 30, Verma went on to win three titles and jumped to an year-ending ranking of 12.

In terms of the World Tour rankings, Verma was seventh, and his performance in the World Tour Finals was even more encouraging as he reached the semifinals. Though second among the Indians in the men singles world rankings, Verma's performances in the World Tour events gave him an opportunity in the eight-player field, ahead of K. Srikanth, and he proved his worth.

On way to the Swiss Open title in February, Verma beat Kento Momota, the Japanese who went on to win the World title and ended the year as the No. 1.

He added the Hyderabad Open and the Syed Modi titles at home make the cut for the World Tour Finals.

Clearly, in a year during which the India struggled to find cheer in men singles, Verma provided a late sparkle.

 

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