Sameer VermaThe second day at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open brought cheers to Indian badminton fans from a totally unexpected quarter. At the Siri Fort Complex in New Delhi, young Sameer Verma created waves by handing a shock defeat to Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in two games. On the same day, Chinese Taipei’s no.4 seed Chou Tien Chen was also made to bite dust by China’s Xue Song in two easy games in a matter of just 38 minutes. In other matches on Day 2, Japan’s Kento Momota also entered the second round for a clash with Indian favorite Kidambi Srikanth; Gurusaidutt fought from match-point down to win against Korean Lee Dong Keun; Parupalli Kashyap came through after three games against Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao; World champion and no.2 seed Carolina Marin easily defeated India’s Neha Pandit; Top seed Saina Nehwal brushed aside a challenge from compatriot Riya Mukherjee and Thailand’s no.3 seed Ratchanok Intanon and Japan’s no.5 seed Minatsu also had easy victories in their opening matches.

Sameer Verma brought the court alive by causing the biggest upset on the second day at the BWF super-series tournament at New-Delhi’s Siri Fort complex, when he displayed great form in his match against Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark. Sameer is the younger brother of Indian international Sourabh Verma and he looked in great touch against the no.5 seed Vittinghus. The Dane has been struggling with his form since he made it to the final of the BWF Destination Dubai World Super-series in late 2014. Against Sameer, Vittinghus opened up a 14-10 lead in the first game, when Sameer changed gear and reeled off 6 points on the trot. After winning the first game 21-15, Sameer kept his control in the match to finish with a 21-15, 21-17 victory. Next up for Sameer is compatriot RMV Gurusaidutt, who pulled off an amazing three-game victory over Korea’s Lee Dong Keun after being a match point down at one stage. Gurusaidutt won the first game against the Korean but lost the second as Lee Dong came back powerfully in the second game. The Korean looked on his way to winning the match, when he led 19-15 in the decider. But Gurusaidutt played his last 5 points marvelously to make it 20-20. The Korean took the next point and he was serving for the match at 21-20 but Gurusaidutt jammed the Korean on his track, reeled off the next 3 points and emerged victorious at 21-14, 17-21, 23-21.

In some of the other matches, Parupalli Kashyap had to draw upon all his reserves against Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao. In a match lasting an hour and 5 minutes, a ding-dong battle ensued between the Indian and the Taiwanese before Kashyap came through at 16-21, 21-19, 21-18. Top seeded Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark defeated Japan’s Sho Sasaki but the biggest cheers of the day were reserved for the no.3 seed Lin Dan of China. The entire court rose to a standing ovation as the Super Dan made his entry. His match, however, was a literal 21-15, 21-16 cake-walk over Chinese Taipei’s Tzu Wei Wang. India’s no.2 seed Kidambi Srikanth defeated Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-17, 21-16; no.6 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark beat India’s B. Sai Praneeth 21-4, 21-18; no.7 seed Chinese Zhengming Wang defeated another Dane Joachim Persson 21-14, 8-21, 21-14 and Japan’s Kento Momota defeated Marc Zwiebler of Germany 21-8, 21-19. Another seed to crash out of the Delhi Open was no.4 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. Tien Chen lost to Xue Song of China 14-21, 16-21 in 38 minutes.

Among women, world champion Carolina Marin brushed aside India’s Neha Pandit 21-7, 21-8, in just 21 minutes; no.6 seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan defeated USA’s Jamie Subandhi 21-7, 21-8; Thailand’s no.3 seed Ratchanok Intanon defeated India’s Saili Rane 21-9, 21-11; no.5 seeded Japanese Minatsu Mitani beat another Indian Kuhoo Garg 21-7, 21-7 and no.1 seed Saina Nehwal made short work of compatriot Riya Mukherjee to win at 21-5, 21-13.