India’s Sameer Verma lost a hard-fought men’s singles match against third-seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark in TOYOTA THAILAND OPEN.

The Indian shuttler lost the first game 13-21 but bounced back to clinch the second game 21-19, taking the match to the final game. Full Scorecard

Sameer Verma fought hard in the deciding game but his third seed opponent used all his experience and just about managed to emerge on top, winning the game 22-20 a tight finish after 81 minutes.

Verma, the top 15-ranked player, hasn’t been in the publicity lately. A shoulder obstacle in 2019 due to overuse resulted in a layoff and a consequent loss in confidence. There were sessions with a psychologist, who suggested motivations movies and books; Verma also spent time watching his own match videos to regain confidence.

“That break was difficult. I was playing well before that. I’d played a lot of quarterfinals (in 2018 and 2019). Then I lost my confidence and it was tough for me.

Sameer Verma

“It took almost one and a half months to get back on the court. It’s difficult to find a rhythm at this level. I was talking to a sports psychologist on how to stay confident,” Verma said.

Today’s performance was typical of Verma at his best – gritty, high-paced percentage badminton with no flashiness or extravagant strokeplay. Antonsen’s steep shots kept coming back, and the match was on edge until the end.

A big compliment came from the Antonsen Victor:-

“Sameer’s a warrior, he fights really hard, so it was a tough match,” Antonsen said. “It was tough on the court, 80 minutes. I was in and out of the game plan and focus in the second and it was a struggle. I started to scream a little bit more.”

Antonsen victor

As for Verma, his performance this week – he beat Lee Zii Jia and Rasmus Gemke, before nearly getting the better of Antonsen – has given him the self-belief that had gone missing after his shoulder injury.

“I played really well, I wasn’t confident in the beginning but I played really well and tried my best. I had match point but could not capitalise.

“I think I can improve much more. I have to work harder and try to be as consistent as I was this week.”


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