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Thailand Open: Sameer Verma goes down fighting in quarter-finals (Lead)

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Bangkok, Jan 22 (IANS) India’s Sameer Verma was on Friday knocked out of the Thailand Open in the quarter-finals, losing 13-21, 21-19, 22-20 to third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark in a see-saw match that lasted an hour and 21 minutes.

Antonsen dominated the first game, registering an easy 21-13 win with the Indian struggling to make dent on the Dane.

However, in the second game, the Indian raced to a 11-9 lead at the mid-game break. Antonsen then came back strongly and took a two point lead at 16-14. But Verma didn’t give up and made a stunning comeback to win the game 21-19 and take the match into the decider.

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In the third and final game, the Indian raced to a 11-8 lead at the mid-game break. But Antonsen used all his experience and eventually went on to win 22-20 in what turned out to be a nerve-wrecking last-eight contest.

Earlier in the day, mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponappa entered the semi-finals after securing a hard-fought win over fifth seeds Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh of Malaysia.

The unseeded Indian pair registered a 18-21, 24-22, 22-20 win over their world number six opponents in a nail-biting quarter-final clash which lasted for an hour and 15 minutes.

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Rankireddy and Ponappa will now face top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand for a place in the summit clash.

–IANS

aak/rkm

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