Sameer Verma: 'Rankings don't matter once I enter the court'

"Honestly, I never thought that I would be reaching this far. All I was hoping was to give off my best and I am really glad that I could reach the final of Hong Kong Open," remarked a visibly delighted Sameer Verma in an exclusive chat with 'Sportstar'.

“I don’t have any immediate targets but would love to break into the top 10 at the earliest and do well in the World Championship early next year,” says Sameer.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

The 24-year-old Sameer Verma, who was runner-up in the Hong Kong Open men’s singles final on Sunday, believes that this performance can well be the turning point of his career.

“Honestly, I never thought that I would be reaching this far. All I was hoping was to give off my best and I am really glad that I could reach the final,” remarked a visibly delighted Sameer in an exclusive chat with 'Sportstar' after completing all the formalities including the dope test after the final.

“Yes, in terms of confidence, this is a huge morale-booster. It gives me a feeling that I belong to the big league in men’s singles circuit. But, again, I am conscious of the fact that I have to maintain a very high level of consistency for which I will really work hard,” says Sameer, who featured in his maiden Super Series final before losing to local favourite Ng Ka Long Angus.

“I was not nervous before the final but there was some pressure of playing in my first big final. But, I must say somehow things didn’t work my way. I don’t want to blame anything for my loss. For, I have very happy memories from this event which I want to keep carrying on and put up much better performances,” the national champion remarked.

“Yes, after beating the World No. 3 Jan O Jorgensen in the semis my confidence was level was high but at the same time fully aware each day is different and one has to be at his best to get the better of his opponent. For rankings and reputations don’t matter for me once I enter the court,” Sameer pointed out.

“It was disappointing to lose in the final but I am not dispirited at all for no one gave me a chance to be there before the start. So, that way, I am really pleased with my performance,” he said. Sameer said that his game had improved a lot eversince he joined Gopi Academy six years ago especially in terms of agility, stamina and speed because of the great coaching system in place there.

“I don’t have any immediate targets but would love to break into the top 10 at the earliest and do well in the World Championship early next year,” says Sameer, who revealed that he shares views on his game before and during the big tournaments with his elder brother Sourabh Verma. “Yes, even yesterday, he was telling me not to think too much about the final but just play my natural game,” he said.

For someone who adores Chinese legend Lin Dan, Sameer says he loves to play the net game more. “That comes to me naturally and I win lot of points there. Yes, in the days to come, I will try to be a much more complete player to get the desired results,” he said.

“I owe a lot to my parents (Sudhir Verma who is a senior clerk in the Narmada Valley Development Authority and mother Sangeetha Verma who is a housewife). I promise them I will make it big in the days to come,” says a confident Sameer.

“For the moment, I would love to enjoy the game and not think too much. My philosophy is pretty simple - work hard, give off the best,” he signed off.