Indian shuttler Sourabh Verma settled for the silver medal when a formidable Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei scraped to a two-game victory 21-15, 21-17 in what was a thrilling blockbuster final of the Syed Modi Badminton Championship tournament in Lucknow.
In what was a brilliant battle of netplay between the two, the first set saw a series of long rallies. Trailing 2-4 in the initial stage, Sourabh hit back to take five straight points for a slender 7-4 lead. The eighth-seeded Chinese managed to grab a 10-8 lead, but Verma bounced back with a couple of more points on the trot to equalise at 10-10 as Tzu lost a challenge. But Tzu moved up the gear after a tight start and pocketed the first game 21-15.
Tzu made it 5-0 in the second set with Sourabh committing a few errors at the net. Tzu's flat jabs and punches to the back of the court proved decisive in the game. But the 26-year-old Indian survived a nail-biting clash as he turned a 9-13 deficit to make it 14-14. Tzu was coaxed into a number of high tosses, giving enough opportunity to the Indian to fire in his smashes. The Chinese hung in and engaged Sourabh mostly in the net, ensuring the lead never got out of hand to finally take away the set 21-17.
Earlier yesterday, Sourabh raised hopes of an Indian win after progressing to the finals after prevailing over Korean Kwang Hee Heo 21-17, 16-21, 21-18 in the semi-final. Tzu earlier thrashed former World No. 1 Korean Son Wan Ho 21-9, 21-7 in the other semi-final of the Super 300 event.
Sourabh has previously won three titles this year — Slovenia International Challenger, Hyderabad Open Super 100 and Vietnam Open Super 100.