Swiss Open: Sameer Verma enters semifinals

Sameer defeated former World No. 2 Kento Momota of Japan 21-17, 21-16.

Sameer Verma will face Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the next round.   -  Sandeep Saxena (File Photo)

India’s Sameer Verma advanced to the semifinals of the USD 150,000 Swiss Open after defeating former World No. 2 Kento Momota.

Sameer, the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold champion, notched up a 21-17, 21-16 win in the men’s singles quarterfinals to break Momota’s unbeaten streak since returning to action in August last year. The 23-year-old from Japan had been banned by Nippon Badminton Association in 2016 for visiting a casino. Sameer will face Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the next round.

Read: Varying performances, worrying trends

Momota, the 2015 Jakarta World Championship bronze medallist, had lost to compatriot Kanta Tsuneyama in the finals of 2017 Canada Open - his only loss since coming back in July last year. He had won two Grand Prix and three international challenge titles last year.

Good recovery

However, Sameer showed his mettle in the 44-minute battle against Momota; he erased 3-5 and 14-16 deficits to pocket the opening game and kept breathing down his rival’s neck after lagging 4-9 at one stage in the second game to eventually seal the contest comfortably.

Men’s doubles pair of M. R. Arjun and Shlok Ramchandran suffered a 13-21, 18-21 loss against Thailand’s Maneepong Jongjit and Nanthakarn Yordphaisong to bow out.

At Vienna, Commonwealth Games champion P. Kashyap continued his fine run. He defeated seventh seed Victor Svendsen of Denmark 21-17, 21-19 to reach the final in the Austrian Open International Challenge. The London Olympics quarterfinalist will now face fifth seed Raul Must of Estonia.