The Indian challenge ended with the loss of PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma at the Victor Denmark Open in Odense, Denmark on Saturday.
Fourth seed PV Sindhu and birthday boy Sameer Verma faced defeat in their respective quarter-final encounters. Both Sindhu and Sameer went down to lower-ranked opponents, marking the end of India’s dismal campaign in the BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament.
Reigning world champion Sindhu lost 11-21, 12-21 against fifth seed Korea’s An Seyoung, while Sameer retired after losing the first game against Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia.
Sameer, who turned 27 on Friday, could not celebrate his birthday with a win as the Madhya Pradesh youngster retired soon after losing the first game 17-21 in 25 minutes.
PV Sindhu outclassed by Korean teenager An Seyoung
Playing her first tournament since claiming the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in August, Sindhu couldn’t match her young Korean rival.
The talented Korean teenager probably played one of her most memorable matches to outclass Sindhu 21-11, 21-12 in 36 minutes.
Fifth seed Seyoung made a fantastic start and took just six minutes to race to a big seven-point lead at the break. World No. 7 Sindhu found the 19-year-old Korean’s pace unmatchable.
Sindhu tried to control the net but committed a series of unforced errors with the Korean displaying extraordinary athleticism to return everything thrown at her.
World No. 8 Seyoung was leading a head-to-head record 1-0 having beaten the Indian star at the same venue a couple of years ago. An Seyoung had won the encounter 21-14, 21-17.
In 2019, Seyoung won the Korean Masters, French Open and Akita Masters which helped her break into the top-10 rankings. She continued her dream performance in 2020 by reaching the final of the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters 2020 before the pandemic began. She was also the runner-up at the Hyderabad Open in 2019.
Lack of recovery time spoils Sameer’s chances against Sugiarto
Sameer could not recover after his dramatic straight-game victory over third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark on Thursday night. Sameer was seen limping towards the end of the match against Antonsen but managed to seal the win just in time.
Sameer tried hard but his stunning victory against the Danish star took a heavy toll on his body and he just could not recover well in time.
Sugiarto, ranked 32 in the world, capitalized on Sameer’s lack of swift movements on the court to enter the semi-finals. It would have been the best chance for world No. 28 Sameer to book his spot in the semis had he been fully fit to play Sugiarto on Friday.
Before this clash, the head-to-head record between the two players was 2-2. In their last meeting at the Indonesia Masters 2020, Sameer was beaten by 32-year-old Sugiarto 17-21, 21-19, 10-21.
Indian Results (Quarter-finals)
4-PV Sindhu lost to 5-An Seyoung (Korea) 11-21, 12-21 (36 minutes)
Sameer Verma lost to Tommy Sugiarto (Indonesia) 17-21 (Retired) (25 minutes).