India's Sameer Verma continued his dream run at the Hong Kong Open badminton event, by stunning World No. 3 Jon O Jorgensen on Saturday, with a brilliant 21-19, 24-22 win.
The 22-year-old Bangalorean, who was making his first semi-final appearance at this level, took the first game by the scruff of its neck. However, he was stretched all the way in the 2nd, where he saved three game points against his higher ranked opponent from Denmark, who had clinched the prestigious China Super Series Premier last week..
He was a qualifier for #hongkongss.He has never gone past the 2nd round at this level.Today, he stuns Jorgensen.Kudos, Sameer Verma! pic.twitter.com/1hjzVgECgv— ScoopWhoop News (@scoopwhoopnews) November 26, 2016
India's National champion Verma, who was a last minute addition to the men's draw after a withdrawal of another player, had not crossed the second round at a tournament in the international arena before.
He had previously defeated Malaysia's Chong Wei Feng 21-17, 23-21 in the quarterfinals.
He will now face Hong Kong's NG Ka Long Angus in the final on Sunday.
More than 40 ranking points separated World No. 43 Sameer from Jorgensen but all that didn't matter today as the Indian retrieved everything thrown at him by the Dane in the 46-minute fast-paced battle.
In one of the finest wins of his career, Sameer punched way above his weight as he opened up a massive 12-7 lead early on in the opening game. However, Jorgensen ensured he was not far behind as he clawed back to reduce the margin to 10-11 at the interval.
Jorgensen made Sameer run across the court but the young Indian was up for it most times and matched the Dane stroke for stroke to be 17-17.
Sameer marched ahead after that and grabbed three game points when the Dane hit the net.
A gruelling rally ensued with Jorgensen relying on his wristy returns and soft net play to save two points. Sameer finally pocketed the first game after winning a video referral when Jorgensen hit long.
In the second game, Jorgensen started on an aggressive note, opening up a healthy 11-5 lead at the interval. But a gritty Sameer fought back to draw level at 12-12 and then took a slender 13-12 lead.