BWF World Tour Finals: Sindhu, Sameer cruise to wins

Both Indians in the fray, PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma cruised to straight set wins at the Badminton World Tour Finals held at Guangzhou, China.

P.V. Sindhu comes into the tie after remarkable wins against Akane Yamaguchi and Tai Tzu Ying.   -  Getty Images

Good afternoon and welcome to Sportstar's live updates and commentary of the badminton's ultimate tournament — the BWF World Tour Finals as we buckle up for some adrenalin rush.

P. V. Sindhu made short work of Beiwen Zhang, cruising to a comfortable 21-9, 21-15 victory in 35 minutes. The Indian remains undefeated in the BWF World Tour Finals so far.

It's been a fine day for the Indians. After Sindhu, Sameer Verma looks set to qualify for the semifinals after posting a straight set 21-9, 21-18 victory over Kantaphon Wangcharoen.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: Sameer seals the win! Wangchaoran saves one point but Sameer Verma walks away with a deserving win. He takes a 21-9, 21-18 win in 44 minutes. His position will be confirmed after the match between Sugiarto and Momota.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 20-17 - Another long rally (possibly the longest of the match), and Sameer finishes with a backhand cross . Three match points for the Indian.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 18-13 - Sameer proves his agility with a brilliant diving return to set up a smash winner.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 15-11 - It's the longest rally of the second game so far. Nothing fancy, just casual arching drives and net returns from the two, but Wang errs at the net to give away a crucial point. A four-point cushion for Sameer now.

Scores read Sindhu-Zhang

 

21-15 That's the win. Sindhu seals a comfortable 2-0 win over Zhang.

20-15 Sindhu had eight match points but has lost three points in a row!

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: Sameer hangs on to one-point lead ( 11-10) at the mid-game break. It is too close for comfort. Verma wouldn't want the match to go into a decider. A semifinal place is at stake here.

17-12 Stunning! Sindhu leaps high and fires a thunderous forehand cross-court smash and a diving Zhang has no response.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 8-8. Scores level for the first time in this game. Sameer mistimes a smash attempt to gift Wangcharoen the point.

14-11 That's clever! Sindhu stays close to the net and after three quick returns, she closes out the point with a delicate drop shot.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 8-6 - Wang doing his best to reduce the deficit. He is showing a lot more intent and keeping the smash angles more acute to win the points.

11-9 Sindhu goes into the water break leading 11-9.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: Verma races to a 4-0 lead in the second game. He looks unstoppable!

9-8 What a rally! Both players went hammer and tongs in what appeared to be the longest rally of the match. Sindhu's forehand drop shot lands just wide and Zhang finds herself a mere point away from Sindhu.  

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: Sameer Verma clinches the first game 21-9.

7-4 Zhang's giving it all she's got but her unforced errors aren't really helping. Another shot to the net ensures Sindhu remains on top.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 17-9 - Verma is in roaring form. Quick on his feet, he closes out a quick exchange with a drive from the net.

6-2 It's looking all too easy for Sindhu here. She's completely dominated the game so far and an unforced error from Zhang extends the Indian's lead to four points.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 16-8 - A well-placed cross smash from Verma to finish what looked like the longest rally of the match.. It's the Indian's fourth successive point

3-0 Sindhu picks up from where she left off. She's offering Zhang no chance here and has raced to 3-0 lead.

-Second game begins-

 

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 13-8. How do you convert a defensive push over the net into a winner? Sameer has been doing exactly that. He gets a return to dip at the forecourt to get a five-point lead.

21-9 There's the game. Sindhu makes a lovely come back from 2-6 down to clinch the opening game in all of 15 minutes.

19-9 Sindhu is running away with the opening game! She's won five points in the blink of an eye and is now two points away from sealing the first game.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 9-6 - A point that will give Wangcharoen a lot of confidence. A long gruelling rally ends with the Thai jump-smashing Verma into submission. Verma falls in attempt in retrieve and stays put. Verma remains in the lead. It was an energy-sapping rally and Sameer needed a good half a minute to recover.

14-8 Streak! Sindhu has really upped her game and is picking apart Zhang now. She attacks  her opponent's forehand, plays it deep and finishes the point with a huge smash.

10-8 That's as easy as it gets. Sindhu forced Zhang to play her backhand and smashes the weak return to remain in the lead.

Update from the Verma - Wangcharoen match: 4-4. The Thai player started strongly, winning three successive points but Verma has come back strongly.  Thai is all going all out on attack, but Sameer wins a brilliant point with a clever flick from behind.

8-6 Sindhu takes the lead for the first time today. She got off to a slow start but has found her groove and is looking in good rhythm now.  

5-6 There's the Sindhu we know! She claws her way back, sends Zhang from one end of the court to the other and has won three points in a row.

2-6 Sindhu looks a tad weary and Zhang appears to be making the most of it. She slams a strong forehand body shot and Sindhu has no response.

0-4 Quite a way to start the game for Zhang. She races to a four point lead in no time.

-First game begins-


-- The other Indian in the fray, Sameer Verma faces Kantaphon Wangcharoen. The two have played each other just once this year, at the  Swiss  Open. Verma defeated the Thai en route to the title. A win today may just be enough for Sameer Verma to qualify for the semifinals.

-- The players are warming up on the court and we're minutes away from action.

-- The last time Sindhu and Zhang clashed was in the first round of the French Open 2018, where Sindhu coasted to a comfortable 21-17, 21-8 win.

-- Sindhu has already sealed her spot in the semifinal having notched impressive wins over Akane Yamaguchi and Tai Tzu Ying. A win today will see her top Pool A.

After six successive losses in 13 meetings, P. V. Sindhu put up a phenomenal display to defeat Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 21-16, 21-18 in what was a brilliant come-from-behind victory.

Sameer Verma, who qualified for the tournament at the last moment after defending his title at the Syed Modi International last month, dished out a dominating performance to beat the 10th ranked Sugiarto 21-16 21-7 in a 40-minute group B clash.

Here's a recap on how the two Indians got past their higher-ranked opponents.