Gopichand's 'super' Sunday as Sindhu and Sameer look for HK Open title

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Gopichand's 'super' Sunday as Sindhu and Sameer look for HK Open title

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SportsCafe Desk


Coach Pullela Gopichand has remarked that it will be a busy Sunday today as PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma take to court for the title at the Honk Kong Open superseries. Gopi also expressed his happiness at how his work with Sameer Verma over the last few weeks has yielded results almost immediately.

PV Sindhu ousted localite Ngan Yi Cheung in the semifinal of the Hong Kong Open to enter the final of the tournament whereas World No. 46 Sameer Verma showed impressive poise under pressure to dismantle World No. 3 Jan Jorgensen in the semi-final to enter the first Superseries final of his career. 

Watching both of his wards away from home in Hyderabad enter the final of the Superseries, Gopi has said that he was pretty excited and pleased to see what unfolded. 

"It will be great to be busy on a Sunday,” he said to ESPN.

Speaking about Sameer, who astonished everyone with his impressive control, Gopichand said, "The last few weeks I have been working with Sameer and it feels so good to see him perform. It is always good to see your players perform when it really matters, on the big stage in a semifinal and give themselves a chance to play the final.

"Jan has been playing well but having said that he looked a bit vulnerable today. He made a few mistakes, he looked a little nervous in the end game which is what Sameer capitalized on. Also, lots of credit to Sameer for retrieving the way he did and he was able to pull out those pressure points which were very important.”

He added, "Sameer has the strokes and capabilities. He is a tricky player with some quick short action strokes that makes him very effective. I think some of the strokes that he played in the end were risky in the sense he really hit the lines. It was very good for us to watch but on another day had they gone out he would have said 'I shouldn't have played that'. It was very brave of him to play the strokes that he played in end, that's the way he is. He is somebody who I believe with maturity will get stronger."

Gopichand was all praise for PV Sindhu but predicted the final to be a closely contested affair. Sindhu entered her second successive Superseries final by beating Ngan Yi Cheung in the semifinal, and will be up against Taiwan's Tai Tzu Ying, whom she defeated at the Rio Olympics in straight games. Tai Tzu Ying defeated Olympic gold medalist Carolina Marin to set up the summit clash with the Indian lass. 

"It is going to be interesting because back then Sindhu was the underdog but here in a way the roles are reversed," he said. "Tai is a very tricky player and she has beaten Carolina Marin (World Number One and Olympic champion) to reach the final. The match at the Olympics will be at the back of the minds of both players. Tai will want revenge and Sindhu will want to stamp her authority."

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