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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sameer Verma in Swiss Open semis; Kashyap in Austrian Open final

Sameer Verma in Swiss Open semis; Kashyap in Austrian Open final

February 24, 2018 12:38 IST

Sameer Verma

IMAGE: Sameer Verma ended former world No. 2 Kento Momota's winning run since returning to action last August. Photograph: Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

Sameer Verma advanced to the semi-finals of the US $150,000 Swiss Open with an easy victory over former world No. 2 Kento Momota of Japan, in Basel, on Saturday.

The Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold champion won his men’s singles quarter-final 21-17, 21-16 and ended Momota's unbeaten streak since returning to action in August last year.

The 23-year-old Japanese was banned by Nippon Badminton Association in 2016 for visiting a casino.

Sameer, who had reached the final of the 2016 Hong Kong Super Series, will face Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen next in the Super 300 badminton tournament.

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

However, the Indian shuttler displayed nerves of steel in the 44-minute contest against Momota as he erased 3-5 and 14-16 deficits to pocket the opening game.

Thereafter, he kept breathing down his opponent’s neck after trailing 4-9 at one stage in the second game to eventually win the contest comfortably.

The up-and-coming men’s doubles pair of M R Arjun and Shlok Ramchandran, however, suffered a 13-21, 18-21 defeat to Thailand’s Maneepong Jongjit and Nanthakarn Yordphaisong.

At Vienna, Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap continued his fine run, defeating seventh seed Victor Svendsen of Denmark 21-17, 21-19 to reach the final in the Austrian Open International Challenge.

The London Olympics quarter-finalist will meet fifth seed Raul Must of Estonia.

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